THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Haphazardly placed flags and arches on city roads continue to create problems for road agencies and motorists in the capital city. After a short break, the city witnessed yet another dispute of this nature, this time over an arch placed near Kanakakkunnu heralding an upcoming event.
The arch was removed by the Thiruvananthapuram Road Development Company Ltd (TRDCL) - the concessionaire of the Thiruvananthapuram City Road Improvement Project (TCRIP) - as part of a routine exercise. But within minutes, the Congress-backed NGO Association had pressured the TRDCL staff to restore it. The association also took its complaint to the Museum Police.
According to TRDCL officials, the arch was placed in such a manner that it encroached upon the footpath. ‘’Our staff removed it as part of a routine exercise for removing encroachments on roads developed by us. In recent times, almost all political organisations co-operate with us in this regard. Besides, only last week we, along with the Corporation, received a letter from the City Police regarding the removal of flagstaffs and flags placed illegally,’’ TRDCL vice president Anil Kumar Pandala said.
Under TCRIP, 42.06 km of city roads were developed by TRDCL, which is also responsible, as per the agreement, for maintaining them for 15 years.
The concession agreement itself says the encroachments of all kinds have to be removed from the city roads with the assistance of government agencies like the police and the Local Self Government Department. Which means flags, hoardings, and arches stand banned as they pose a threat to motorists.
Besides, accidents have happened in the past. A few years ago, a woman scooterist sustained severe injuries after a hoarding near the AG’s office fell on her. But a quick ride through the city will show you how political parties and other organisations have taken over the footpath railings and even the lamp posts on road dividers with their flags.
‘Collector should convene a meeting’
Mayor V K Prasanth said the corporation has already begun to remove advertisement hoardings and flex boards placed illegally on city roads. However, it will be ideal for the District Collector to convene an all-party meeting to arrive at a consensus on the removal of flags and other material put up by political organisations, he said.
A trying task
Under TCRIP, 42.06 km of city roads were developed by TRDCL, which is also responsible, as per the agreement, for maintaining them for 15 years
The concession agreement says the encroachments of all kinds have to be removed from the city roads with the assistance of government agencies like the police and the Local Self-Government Department
Which means flags, hoardings, and arches stand banned as they pose a threat to motorists