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Holesome capital! Rains fill potholes, make matters worse for commuters

Unexpected rain has worsened the conditions of city roads as huge potholes have formed posing a threat to motorists in many parts of the capital.

Published: 21st October 2021 06:48 AM  |   Last Updated: 21st October 2021 11:41 AM   |  A+A-

Motorists stuggle to navigate through potholes at Aryasala in Thiruvananthapuram. (Photo | B P Deepu, EPS)

Motorists stuggle to navigate through potholes at Aryasala in Thiruvananthapuram. (Photo | B P Deepu, EPS)

Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Unexpected rain has worsened the conditions of city roads as huge potholes have formed posing a threat to motorists in many parts of the capital. With school reopening around the corner, the ill-maintained roads are likely to add to the traffic woes. According to traffic authorities, the volume of vehicles is likely to go up by 40% once the school reopens. 

“Waterlogged and potholed roads are turning fatal for motorists, especially two-wheeler riders. The rain has worsened already damaged roads in many parts of the capital. But the authorities are turning a blind eye. People have switched to private vehicles because our public transportation is not dependable. The government needs to strengthen the public transportation system to reduce private vehicles on the road.

The light metro still remains on paper,” M S Venugopal, general secretary of Federation of Residents’ Association, Thiruvananthapuram (FRAT). He said the road maintenance contract should be strictly enforced and allotted for a longer period of time so that the contractors are held responsible. 

“People are forced to use their own two-wheelers or cars for commuting because they have no better option,” he added. Binu S, a resident of Attakulangara, said the condition of roads is posing a serious threat to the motorists. “Attakulangara-Killiapalam road is one of the worst and traffic too is more as it is a main road linking the NH without having to go through the city.

The road has turned into a death trap. Now they have sealed some of the potholes using concrete. There is no point in putting cement on the potholes when we are getting so much rain. They don’t care whether the maintenance would last or not,” said Binu.

Apart from assessing the damage to the roads, the Public Works Department (PWD) is yet to take any solid steps to undertake emergency road maintenance work to rectify it. According to officials, many roads coming under Nedumangad, Neyyattinkara and Attingal subdivisions have suffered severe damage. Despite having a dedicated road maintenance wing under the PWD, the apathetic attitude of the authorities are delaying the maintenance works.

Potholes have surfaced in many city roads posing threat to motorists in the
capital. A scene from Vazhuthacaud | B P Deepu

“The road maintenance wing was formed nearly four years back but the officials haven’t tendered even a single work so far. Recently, the government stopped allotting funds for road maintenance to the PWD and strictly restricted the responsibility of road maintenance to the new wing. Currently, we are undertaking emergency work on special requests. There is a lot of confusion and there needs to be more clarity and allotment of funds for maintaining the roads,” said a PWD official. 

The maintenance work of the roads taken up by Smart City Thiruvananthapuram Ltd (SCTL) is in a bad shape, he said. “They are developing the roads but maintenance works are not being planned. The Vazhuthacaud-Vellyambalam -Thycaud road is damaged and the stretch is under their custody now. If they don’t do the maintenance work now, the situation would become worse in no time,” said the official.

‘Difficult to manage peak hour traffic’

Ever since the lifting of lockdown, the city roads have been witnessing huge traffic and potholed roads are giving fresh challenges for the traffic authorities. Several key byroads have been closed because of the damaged condition which include Pettah flyover, Airport Road, Manaveeyam Road, Panavila Road etc. Attakulangara-Killipalam stretch is another road that is severely damaged and causes severe traffic during peak hours.

Assistant Commissioner (Traffic) South Arun Raj said managing traffic is going to be a challenge as many roads have been closed for development. “Vehicle volume would be more once the school reopens. Several roads have been closed for development and it’s a huge concern for us. During peak hours, the main roads get choked as the bylanes are closed. It would be good if they complete the work on a war footing. We always bring to the notice of the authorities concerned whenever roads get damaged or affect the free movement of traffic,” said Arun Raj. 

He said that the blocking of the Airport Road is also adding to the traffic as the vehicles going to the airport are taking other routes. “We hope the authorities would rectify and reopen all roads before school reopens,” he added.

PWD has assessed damage to the roads but is yet to take any steps to undertake emergency road maintenance work

Ongoing spells of heavy rain have worsened the conditions of city roads

Damaged roads 
Roads coming under Nedumangad, Neyyattinkara and Attingal subdivisions have suffered severe damage

Several key byroads have been closed because of the damaged condition such as Pettah flyover, Airport Road, Manaveeyam Road, Panavila Road etc 

Major roads are full of potholes because timely and effective maintenance is not being done. With several byroads being closed after they got severely damaged, traffic has become unmanageable on main thoroughfares



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