After long wait, repair of potholed NH stretch to begin after monsoon

NHAI selects contractor for urgent maintenance work from Kaliyikkavila to Balaramapuram 

Published: 09th November 2021 05:23 AM  |   Last Updated: 09th November 2021 05:23 AM   |  A+A-

A huge pothole at Aralumoodu on the Balaramapuram - Kaliyikkavila stretch

Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Motorists and daily commuters who use the pot-holed road from Kaliyikkavila near Kerala-Tamil Nadu border to Balaramapuram in the district could heave a sigh of relief as the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has finally selected a contractor for the immediate repair works. However, the work can be started only after the rains. 

Sources close to NHAI said a person named Pradeep has been fixed as the contractor for the repair at a cost of Rs 50 lakh. The NHAI approved a fund of Rs 50 lakh for repairing it by dividing it into two stretches - Rs 25 lakh for Balaramapuram to Amaravila and the remaining half for Udiyankulangara-Kaliyikkavilai stretch. To bring a permanent solution to the damaged stretch, the Public Works Department (NH) wing also submitted a proposal to the central body for the total renovation at a cost of Rs 24 crore. 

According to C Jyotheendranath, executive engineer,  PWD(NH), the NHAI selected the contractor for the urgent repair works. But that will not be a permanent solution. A heavy rain is enough to damage the road again. So we have submitted a proposal of Rs 24crore for two-layer tarring as a permanent solution,” he said.  Huge potholes on the 18-km road from the border to Balaramapuram are creating traffic bottlenecks and accidents. The scenario has worsened with the reopening of schools and colleges. When the mandalam season for Sabarimala pilgrimage starts next week, the situation will turn more miserable. 

K Ansalan, Neyyattinkara MLA, had said repairing the stretch does not come under the purview of the state government as the Balaramapuram- Kaliyikkavilai road is a national highway.  The road from Karamana to Balaramapuram had become a state highway after the NHAI had handed over the land to the state government for the four-lane development. 

The NHAI has already converted the Kazhakootam- Karode stretch as a national highway NH66 and will hand over the Balaramapuram- Kaliyikkavilai stretch to the state government  soon to develop it as state highway standards.  Meanwhile, P Pradeep, project director, NHAI, told TNIE that the NHAI has submitted the state government’s proposal to the Centre for final approval. 

“A permanent remedy is the need of the hour. So the government has given me a quote of the proposal of Rs 24 crore. We have submitted to the state government. Once the proposal gets approved, we will hand over the stretch to the state government for developing it accordingly,” Pradeep said. 

The stretch from Pravachambalam to Kodinada, near Balaramapuram, was widened to 30 metres with a median and footpath. Vehicles coming from Thiruvananthapuram side had to negotiate the potholes once it crosses Balaramapuram junction. Manu Kumar S, a trader who travels frequently on the stretch with his two-wheeler, said the entire stretch is in a dilapidated condition.



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