KOCHI: The residents who use the main road leading to West Kochi from the Naval Base have been groping in the dark, literally, for the past three-and-a-half years. Once a part of the National Highway and close to the old airport, the road is crying for attention. Kochi corporation is in charge of the street lights’ maintenance, but it is yet to act though at least 40 of them have become dysfunctional.
“The stretch gets its lights only when central or state ministers visit here,” said social activist T V Manoharan.Ahmed Basheer, a motorist, said: “Hundreds like me take this route to reach the city. Robbery cases are frequently reported from the area as it is always dark.”
Cochin Port Trust used to maintain the road years ago. PWD took over it later. Maintenance of street lights, however, continued to remain with the corporation. Councillor Tibin Devassy said an estimate was prepared last month by the corporationto install LED street lights. “The total estimated cost was nearly `14 lakh. The file is still awaiting the works standing committee’s technical sanction. We hope it will be approved soon so that work can begin,” said Devassy.
The corporation officials said several repair works related to roads and street lights are pending as workers were not available during the lockdown period. “Despite having the Naval office in its proximity and being frequented by ministers and MLAs, no action has been taken to repair the lights,” said Manoharan, a resident of Vathuruthy. “The stretch is the direct route from the city to leading tourist spots including Fort Kochi,” he said.