THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Yet another life has been snuffed out due to bad roads. The death of 23-year-old youth near Padamugal Junction after his bike fell on a crater has proved the inefficiency and indifference of the administration led by the District Collector, the Mayor, the GCDA chairman and the PWD officials.
The tragic incident has brought to the fore the extremely dangerous condition of the road and the suffering the commuters are subjected to. Despite several pleas, campaigns and protests in this regard, the lackadaisical attitude of the authorities continues, leading to the death of a hapless commuter.
Ebin, a resident of Kakkanad, was on his way back home from work when the incident happened. Ebin, who lost his balance, hit his head, losing his helmet in the blunt force. Though he was rushed to the hospital, his life couldn’t be saved. The mishap resulted in angry residents taking to the streets, laying siege along the stretch.
Meets galore, No action
While District Collector K Mohammed Y Safirulla and Mayor Soumini Jain were unavailable for comments, P T Thomas MLA said a meeting will be convened soon in this regard.“Transport Minister A K Saseendran has convened an urgent meeting of PWD officials, District Collector, and other officials on Saturday to review the progress of the work along the Palarivattom Civil Line road. Initially, no one was ready to take up the tenders on that road. Repair works had come to a halt after the flood. After the review meeting, we hope to get a solution,” he added.The PWD official said the incident was unfortunate. “We have completed the patchworks in the areas of Kunnampuram and Vazhakala stretch. We are unable to speed up our works due to the rains,” said M T Shabu, PWD executive engineer, PWD Roads Division, Ernakulam.
The precarious state of the stretch was a subject of various campaigns, including by Express which highlighted the plight of the public several times.The situation had worsened a few weeks ago, following which private bus owners threatened to call off services along the route. However, after much hue and cry, the authorities took up patchwork on the stretch, which is still ongoing.“The state of the road has worsened. On one side, the PWD is doing patchwork while KWA is digging the road to repair the leaks of the pipes on another side,” said Rajeev, a resident of Palarivattom.“In a bid to evade the potholes, the bikers jump in front of the heavy vehicles. We have seen several such incidents when the bikers evade gutters only to fall right in front of a heavy vehicle. It is sheer God’s grace that they are still alive,” said Grace, a shop owner at Kakkanad.
It was last year that the road at Kakkanad was dug to lay the natural gas pipeline by GAIL
In 2018 May, the PWD failed to do the pre-monsoon road work. By July, rain strengthened, leaving the road in tatters. By August, the bus owners threatened to call off service along the route.