KOCHI: The bad state of the roads in Kochi has become a major talking point in the Ernakulam byelection with the LDF, UDF and NDA raising the potholed roads in the city as the main poll plank to attack each other.
At the receiving end, obviously, is T J Vinodh, the Congress candidate, who is also the deputy mayor of Kochi corporation. “Both the UDF and the LDF, who have been ruling the corporation for the past several years, should take the blame.
Vinodh, who has been a councillor in Kochi for several years and now the deputy mayor, is an experienced hand. But he has become a total failure,” said C G Rajagopal, BJP’s Ernakulam candidate.
C N Mohanan, CPM’s Ernakulam district secretary, pointed out that while the PWD roads in the city are in a good condition, the Kochi corporation’s roads are completely ridden with potholes and are totally unmotorable. Congress leader and Paravoor MLA V D Satheesan said the LDF was raising the condition of roads in Ernakulam alone when all the PWD roads from Thiruvananthapuram to Kasaragod are neglected and pothole-ridden.
“When UDF assumed power in Kerala in 2011, the government allotted Rs 83 crore in three phases for road repair. The roads were repaired and beautified using funds during the UDF regime,” Satheesan said. However, in the last three years, the LDF government has not provided a single penny to Kochi corporation for road works, Satheesan added.
After the two consecutive floods in 2018 and 2019, the LDF government announced it would distribute Rs 2,000 crore to the local self-government for road repair works. However, the funds have not been distributed yet, he said.