Traffic on NH66 bypass will be restored within 15 days, says authority

However, the deadlock could be broken after NHAI came forward to carry out the repairs at a cost of Rs 5.6 crore. 

Published: 02nd December 2021 06:45 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd December 2021 06:45 AM   |  A+A-

A worker repairs the damaged sewarage pipeline at Muttathara bypass

Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The damaged sewerage pipeline under the reinforced earth wall between Enchakkal and Kumarichantha will be repaired and traffic along the NH 66 bypass stretch will be restored within 15 days, according to National Highways Authority of India (NHAI).

Earlier, NHAI and Kerala Water Authority (KWA) have been passing the buck on repairing and relaying the pipelines. KWA had said it is the responsibility of NHAI, while the latter said that the KWA ought to raise the funds for it. However, the deadlock could be broken after NHAI came forward to carry out the repairs at a cost of Rs 5.6 crore. 

“Efforts are on to lay new pipelines. The work at the eastern side of the overpass is nearing completion. The work on the western side of the road will start within a few days and it will be completed in 15 days. The service roads, which were dug up for laying pipelines, will also be restored simultaneously. It is negligence on the part of KWA. However, NHAI is footing the cost of the repair work . It is not simple work as we need to protect the reinforced earth wall.

The delay was due to utilities which were laid underneath. However, the work is going on at a fast pace and it will be completed in 15 days, “ said P Pradeep, NHAI project director. Meanwhile, a senior KWA officer said that it is not the fault of KWA, since the NHAI had built the wall over the pipeline without checking the route of pipelines. “ It is due to the fault of NHAI. It is their responsibility to inform us to reroute it. However, they have built the wall over the 90 cm diameter pipeline, getting it to burst eventually, “ the officer said. 

Earlier, NHAI had approached KWA to repair the damage immediately. However, KWA had submitted an estimate of  Rs4 crore for the work and asked NHAI to re-lay the pipes. For the past one-and-a-half months , only one-way traffic has been allowed and traffic on the other side from Muttathara to Enchakkal was blocked by NHAI.  The vehicles coming from Muttathara side have to use the service road. This has led to heavy traffic congestion near Enchakkal during peak hours. The two-way traffic was stopped as the reinforced earth wall could cave in otherwise. 

Enchakkal junction has already been choked due to lack of overpass or underpass and the new traffic diversion has resulted in a nightmare for motorists. Earlier, local residents had demanded an overpass supported by pillars instead of the land-filled wall. If there were pillars, this problem could have been avoided.



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