THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan will jointly inaugurate the Rs 427-crore Smart Road project and H94-crore Integrated Command and Control Centre at a function to be held in the state capital tomorrow
The Smart Road project — one of the challenging key projects under the smart city initiative — estimated at Rs 427 crore will take off on Friday. Roads to be a length of 37km falling under the Area-Based Development (ABD) area of Thiruvananthapuram Corporation will be upgraded to smart roads by making all overhead utilities underground. Junction improvement will also be focused on. The Smart City Thiruvananthapuram Ltd (SCTL) has sought the district collector’s blanket permission for the execution of the project. The smart roads will be open to public in two years.
“Our initial attempt to tender the project failed and we had to retender it because the participants quoted a huge sum. We divided the entire stretch into three parts and floated three separate tenders to avoid cost escalation. It’s going to be a huge challenge because there would be service disruption. The overhead KSEB lines and water lines have to be relaid in the underground ducts. But the future maintenance would be easy,” said an official associated with the project.
“We have sought permission from the district collector and administration to not allow digging by other agencies on the roads falling under the project,” said an official of SCTL. The official added that without proper design and planning, the project would be a failure. “In Kochi, they could only upgrade a few stretches as part of the Smart Road project. There would be service disruptions and we have to ensure we cause minimum inconvenience to everyone. The most expensive part of the project is shifting of KSEB lines. We will be setting up compact transformers and substation along the smart roads which would cost three or four times more than the normal cost,” the official added.
The coordination of various departments is going to be yet another challenge. “Several meetings were held and even the chief secretary had held meetings with various departments,” the official added. The project will provide an overlay design for the existing roads with detailed strip plans, junction designs, cycle track and footpath design. There will be landscaping at frequent intervals, loaded with smart components including CCTV, smartpoles and variable message boards for real-time management are provided for surveillance and general safety.
Roads getting an upgrade
21 roads under Kerala Road Fund Board: 15km
37 stretches under PWD: 20.4 km
3 roads under PWD-NH
The project will provide an overlay design for the existing roads with detailed strip plans, junction designs, cycle track and footpath design