Chadiyara’s right to commute hits military wall

The road repair issue between VNRA with Pangode Military Station dates back to more than a decade.

Published: 19th November 2019 06:55 AM  |   Last Updated: 19th November 2019 02:53 PM   |  A+A-

The approach road at Edappazhanji

The approach road at Edappazhanji

Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Sixty-eight-year-old Ravindran G points to a mighty mango tree sans leaves, standing precariously along the muddy road opposite his house. “A branch of the tree fell recently and luckily none was hurt. It stands dangerously and all of us are living in fear of it falling anytime. Without the military’s permission, we cannot cut the tree and they are nonchalant about it,” says Ravindran, a heart patient who recently had a bypass surgery.

None knows the pain of travelling through the road more than Ravindran, a senior citizen who has to make frequent visits to the hospital through the muddy stretch without any asphalt. This is the approach road for the over 100 families living at Chadiyara.

For the past 15 years, the daily commute for the families residing in the Chadiyara segment of the Vivekananda Nagar Residents Association (VNRA) at Edappazhanji has been a difficult task.
The 380-metre-long section of the muddy stretch passes along the boundary of the military land. The Pangode Military Station’s refusal to give a no-objection certificate to repair the road has made matters worse for the residents.

The road repair issue between VNRA with Pangode Military Station dates back to more than a decade. The road stretch is filled with slush during the major part of the year.

“It is impossible to use this road for commuting. During the rains, the stretch becomes treacherous. The lack of a proper approach road continues to be a major concern for the old and ailing living in this part,” says R Haridas, general secretary, VNRA.

A meeting of all parties including representatives of VNRA, military station, KSEB, corporation and water authority was recently convened by the Collector following a representation by the VNRA to the revenue minister. “Nothing concrete came of the meeting as the matter was referred yet again to the military’s purview. Unless the state government intervenes and reaches out to the Ministry of Defence, no solution will be reached on the issue,” says Haridas.  “There is drainage line laid under this road. The water line and electric posts are all present on this stretch. But they are not allowing us to develop the road and make it viable for commuting,” says Haridas.

Solomon P, an Indian Air Force veteran who has been living in the area for the past 14 years, says that the military station authorities, with their refusal to bring a closure to the matter, are depriving the people of their fundamental right.

“The presence of the military is something that gives us residents reassurance. There is also a big anomaly in the placement of boundary markers after a recent survey they undertook,” says Solomon. A response from the military station is awaited.


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