KOCHI: The stretch between Judges Avenue and Kaloor Junction, which had been chock-a-block for the last one week following single lane traffic in the wake of the collapse of an under-construction structure near the Metro station, on Thursday evening was reopened to vehicular traffic.
District Collector K Muhammed Y Safeerulla gave the nod for reopening the road after the expert committee set up in the mishap's wake submitted the road has sufficient strength to allow vehicles to pass. It took nearly six days for the textile company - which was building the collapsed structure - along with the government agencies to complete the work on fortifying the road. To provide strength to the road, coconut piling, filling GSP and levelling of the construction site using red sand were the works mainly carried out.
However, with the Kerala Water Authority(KWA) delaying the pipe laying on the stretch, the drainage work on the stretch is yet to be completed. Though the agency promised the Collector the pipe laying will be completed by Tuesday, it failed to deliver on its promise which forced several hundred residents to rely on water tankers.
"Though the road strengthening was completed on Thursday, the drainage construction was halted as the KWA is yet to complete the pipe laying work. If they had stuck to the promised deadline, the road could have been reopened to traffic on Wednesday. If the agency delays the pipe laying work it will precipitate another crisis with the drainage water seeping into the construction site," said an engineer.
The textiles company is footing the cost of the restoration work which is carried out under the PWD's supervision. " Restoring traffic was our top priority and we completed it on a war footing. It will take more than three days for the KWA to complete the pipe laying work," said Safeerulla.
The textiles group has also promised the Collector it will level one portion of the road which had sunk owing to the pressure. " The tiles paved on the road have to be removed first and it has to be levelled using GSP. On Friday night, the process will start and it can be completed within two days. The entire expense of road strengthening and restoration will be footed by the company," the Collector said.