An emerging industrial hub, Vypeen, is plagued by rutty roads and water woes. The roads are so bad that a ride from the mainland to Vypeen can drive anyone insane. Political leaders, trade unionists, business leaders, small farmers and workers do not hesitate to say that ‘congested and broken roads damage our daily life and economic life’.
It is ironic that roads are in a pathetic state largely because of the digging of the roads by the Kerala Water Authority (KWA) to lay pipes as part of the numerous drinking water projects being implemented. “Severe shortage of drinking water is a major issue in Vypeen. The potable water projects envisaged to address the issue are yet to be completed. The higher officials of the KWA failed in monitoring the implementation of the projects properly to complete them in a time-bound manner. The roads dug up several months ago remain unrestored, causing inconvenience to the public,” said S Sarma, Vypeen MLA and CPM state committee member.
K R Subash, Congress leader and district panchayat member representing Vypeen, also agreed with Sarma. “It is true that the KWA made blunders in monitoring and should have been more careful,” he said, adding that the authorities should also take steps to build an alternative road to Vypeen-Munambam road. “Union Minister for Food and Civil Supplies K V Thomas had recently highlighted the need to start the background work of a coastal highway. The government should initiate proceedings to realise the project which is the only solution to the transport issue,” he said.
Abdul Jabbar, a lottery agent, said the slow progress in the repair work led to numerous accidents. “The traffic is increasing while the condition of the roads is deteriorating by the day. This has resulted in increasing number of accidents,” he said. Praveen, an autorickshaw driver, said the broken roads were giving trouble to motorists. “We are forced to repair our vehicles frequently which is a costly affair,” he said. When contacted, KWA officials said the delay in road restoration was due to the failure of Goshree Islands Development Authority (GIDA) to pay the required amount to the PWD. Meanwhile, the people’s representatives in Vypeen believe that the water woes would end after the completion of the water projects. “Currently, water is pumped to Vypeen from Paravur. But with the completion of projects, which is being implemented with the help of the GIDA and Fisheries Department, Vypeen will see dedicated water supply lines catering to the needs,” Sarma said.