THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: In the wake of scathing criticism from residents and commercial establishments over the digging up of Statue-General Hospital Junction road in the capital overnight for the construction of a smart road as part of the Smart City Mission project, a review meeting by Smart City Thiruvananthapuram (SCTL) decided to make the road partially navigable after a week.
The Kerala Road Fund Board (KRFB) is the implementing agency of the project. The review meeting was called following a meeting with the shop owners and residents on either side of the stretch on Monday.
The 600-m-long road has been dug up for the past two weeks completely, and all the shops on this busy lane have been closed down.
More than 70 families residing on either side of the road are at the receiving end, as they could not move freely outside due to the alleged ‘unscientific’ construction of the road. The main issue on the stretch is that the road is narrow and all the utility cables and pipelines need to be shifted.
As per the decision taken in the review meeting, the work on the drain on the right side of the road towards General Hospital will be taken up soon, and it will be completed in a week.
“After completing the drain work, the concreting work on manholes will be completed. Once these works are completed, we can partially open the road. It will take a week, and the residents and shop owners will agree with it. Similarly, temporary ramps have been built in front of the houses and shops for immediate convenience. Later, the drain on the other side and the concreting work will begin.
Though the deadline set for the completion of the stretch is March, we are working to complete the work by February end,” a senior official of SCTL told TNIE. The work on the stretch is being taken up by PWD contractor, Sudheer.
Meanwhile, Anil Kumar Pandala, former managing director of Thiruvananthapuram Road Development Company Ltd, a concessionaire of KRFB, said all the works carried out by the SCTL are unscientific, and they at least need guidance on completing the works within the prescribed time-frame.
“Take the example of the work at Statue-General Hospital road. The road cannot be dug up completely overnight. It should be excavated through a step-by-step process which they should follow,” he said.
The deadline for the completion of under-construction smart roads is March and April next year.
Smart road projects