The much-touted Vallarpadam-Panampukad bund road project envisioned to bring solace to the hundreds of families residing in the coastal belt has failed to take off.
The project which had received administrative sanction from Goshree Islands Development Authority (GIDA) at its first council in February 2011 still remains a non-starter.
The families residing in Vallarpadam island at Mulavukadu panchayat have been waiting eagerly for the construction of the bund road as it would exempt the island from the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) rules besides alleviating travel woes.
“Once the bund road comes up, construction activities will be possible. None of the families is able to reconstruct their thatched homes now.
At a time when high-rise buildings are being constructed violating CRZ rules, these poor families do not even get permission to build proper homes,” said A K Rajendran, Congress ward president.
Pradeep, a resident of Panampukad said he had initially received permission to rebuild his home from the panchayat. “However, a few days later, it was cancelled when they found it to be a violation of CRZ rules. During high tide, water seeps into the house and we are forced to suffer for hours until it recedes,” he said.
According to GIDA officials, they had given administrative sanction for the construction of a protection wall and bund road around Vallarpadam island at an estimated cost of `17.15 crore. The proposal includes construction of a dry rubble retaining wall about six metres away from the existing boundary of the island towards the water side and the construction of a motorable road having a width of 6 metres after filling the portion in between with red earth.
The GIDA officials said they have entrusted the Major and Minor Irrigation Department with the work. Approval has been sought from the Inland Waterways Authority of India, Cochin Port Trust and Coastal Zone Management Authority.
“The project is awaiting government sanction. We have been asked to submit a revised estimate to the Chief Engineer, Irrigation Department,” said Minor Irrigation Department assistant engineer Ajay Kumar.