THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The local residents of Peroorkada- Kudappanakunnu region here are at their wits’ end after both the entrance as well as the exit of the road has been dug up by the Kerala Water Authority (KWA), for laying metal pipes under the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB)- funded project.
And the 12 residents’ associations representing the affected people are a harried lot since their pleas to the authorities concerned to resolve the issue have been met with a stony silence.
According to several affected parties, even their pleas before the Mayor ‘Bro’ turned local MLA VK Prasanth elicited no response.
In AKG Nagar alone, a prominent residential hub in the area having a sizeable section of senior citizens, the members of 160 households are confined to their homes as they cannot take their vehicles out.
The trenching of the stretch for replacing the Asbestos Cement (AC) pipe — which had been weakened, resulting in frequent burst of the pipeline on the stretch —with new metal pipe.
The government has allocated Rs 58.5 crore for laying metal pipe along the 15km-long Peroorkada - Manvila stretch after the KWA authorities sought funds from KIIFB for the purpose.
“More than 70 per cent of our residents are geriatric people and even an ambulance cannot enter our road now. Things have come to such a pass now, that online food delivery guys are charging us more. The residents can take a parallel road through Darshan Nagar, but it is a narrow road. This causes severe congestion, leading to arguments between pedestrians and motorists,” S Mohanan, AKG Nagar Residents’ Association secretary, told Express.
P C George, who was a senior engineer at the LPSC unit at Valiyamala, residing at 207 AKG Nagar, told TNIE that the digging of the road has not yet reached his house.
The 79-year-old is not against development, but he wants the KWA authorities to expedite the work.
“It was easy for my family to go to Peroorkada junction to get groceries. But now, with the entrance and exit of the AKG Nagar being blocked, we have to manoeuvre through a narrow road. We urge the authorities to at least leave one end open,” said George.
V Saji, deputy chief engineer (projects), KWA, told TNIE that it is impossible to open one side of the road as the work demands both the ends to be sealed off.
He said that it will take at least a year to complete the work.
“It was due to the intervention by the local MLA that we got the fund sanctioned without much delay. We understand the hardships of residents. But there is no way other than to cooperate with us.
“If not for the occasional rain, we would have expedited our work. We are aiming to open the stretch at Peroorkada in two weeks after tarring work and completing the pressure checking,” he said.
Usually, the road work is undertaken by the works department. But here, it is the KWA contractor who has been assigned the task of completing the road tarring as per the contract signed.
The KWA top brass is keen to complete the pipe-laying within nine months. But they are expecting more hiccups once digging on the busy Pongumoodu road on the National Highway stretch starts.