The Thiruvananthapuram Road Development Company Ltd (TRDCL) has shot off yet another complaint to the authorities demanding the removal of flex-boards, flags and other unauthorised materials from the city roads developed by it.
As per the agreement signed between the government and the TRDCL, such materials are banned on the 42.6 kilometres of city roads developed under the Thiruvananthapuram City Road Improvement Project (T-CRIP). TRDCL filed the complaint before the Transport Commissioner last week. ‘’We’ve been told that it has been forwarded to the District Collector,’’ TRDCL vice-president Anil Kumar Pandala said.
This is not the first time that the company, the concessionaire for T-CRIP, has complained about illegal materials put up on its roads by various political parties and other organisations. However, no action has been forthcoming so far, Pandala said. ‘’We’ve been regularly filing representations before the authorities pointing out the violations. No action has been taken so far. The government seems to be least bothered about road safety,’’ he said. ‘’Our complaint also highlights one other issue; unauthorised parking on the roads,’’ he said.
According to the agreement, TRDCL is also accountable for road safety on the stretches developed by it, which is one reason why the company is adamant on the removal of illegal structures from roads managed by it. Several months ago, a young scooterist was knocked down from her vehicle by a huge hoarding near the AG’s Office. She sustained injuries to her head even though she was wearing a helmet.
With the general elections fast approaching, political organisations are competing with each other to ‘litter’ the streets with hoardings and flags. And the numbers can be mind-boggling. For instance, according to an official statement issued by the BJP, as many as 3,000 flex-boards and nearly one lakh flags were put up to welcome PM candidate Narendra Modi to the city recently.
Both UDF and LDF too have hundreds of hoardings placed in various parts of the city. The UDF Government has erected huge hoardings in all the major junctions highlighting its achievements. The LDF-led City Corporation periodically announces a clean-up, but rarely gets the job done.
Other organisations, including those representing communities, also are violating the rules. The SNDP Yogam filled the city streets with flags and hoardings for its recent ‘Ezhava Maha Sangamam.’ Similar was the case with the Cable Operators’ Association (COA) which staged a march in the city on Tuesday. Many of these flags, fixed on the lamp poles on medians, stick out on to the road posing a threat to motorists. But the City Corporation and the Traffic Police continue to turn a blind eye to the entire issue.