KOCHI: Arterial roads in Kochi are often called the lifeline of the city traffic. When traffic snarls hinder vehicular movement on major roads like Banerji Road, MG Road, Sahodaran Ayyappan Road and National Highway Bypass, it is the sub-roads like Gandhinagar Road and Subhash Chandra Bose Road that provide a relief to the commuters.
As part of Kerala Water Authority’s (KWA) Amrut water project, these arterial roads were dug up back in October 2018 for laying pipes, making these stretches unmotorable. Despite the completion of pipe laying, Kochi Corporation is yet to start the tendering work for the road renovation of the roads. Once again, the officials have cited the unavailability of approval from District Collector because of Model Code of Conduct (MCC) during Lok Sabha polls and adverse climatic condition as the reasons for the delay. In the end, the lack of coordination between the authorities has again led to the pitiable condition of the roads.
The `1.39-crore proposal for laying concrete tiles in Gandhinagar stretch is still under the tendering process and will at least take two more months to complete. Whereas, the Subhash Chandra Bose road which came to limelight after Kochi Mayor’s protest at the KWA office muddled the blame game. “Although we completed the temporary repair work on the stretch, KWA is still trenching in areas like Jawahar Nagar for repair work. The tender for laying the road with BMBC tarring was completed in July first week. We are waiting for dry weather to complete the work,”said anengineering wing official of the corporation.
The KWA officials pointed out that pipe laying work of different stretches followed different schedules. Even after handing over the stretches in advance, corporation officials are blaming the department, they alleged.“We completed the Gandhinagar-Alunkal stretch in April along with Ponnurunni-Chalikkavattom road. But Subhash Chandra Bose road faced several other issues,” said a KWA official.