Works dept readying portal to give approval for road digging

As per the plan, the PWD, which owns nearly 34,000km of roads in the state, will list the names of roads on the online portal six months before the scheduled relaying work.

Published: 22nd June 2021 06:39 AM  |   Last Updated: 22nd June 2021 06:39 AM   |  A+A-

For representational purposes

Express News Service

KOCHI: Digging up a newly laid road is not a rare instance in the state though it causes a major revenue drain to the state’s exchequer, mostly due to the lack of coordination and poor planning by various government departments such as the electricity board, water authority and telecom companies.Fed up with these repeated instances of digging up roads after their repair, the government is creating an online portal, dedicated exclusively for road-cutting permission in the state.

As per the plan, the PWD, which owns nearly 34,000km of roads in the state, will list the names of roads on the online portal six months before the scheduled relaying work. This will help the other agencies such as the telecommunication service provider (TSP), Kerala Water Authority (KWA) and Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) to submit applications for road-cutting permission to the department before the road is relaid.

“We’ve heard several stories of relaying a road and digging it up the next day. We are planning to put an end to this practice by upgrading the existing right of way (RoW) permission software, which is now used to grant road-cutting permission,” said Public Works Minister P A Mohamed Riyas when asked about the project.

The goal is to completely avoid such mistakes in the future, he said.“We are working on a project to set up a virtual control room for road-cutting permission in the state using technology. Several discussions with the stakeholders have to be convened before finalising the project,” Riyas said.The government is planning to launch the project by the end of this year.

Ajith Ramachandran, chief engineer (Roads), said the roads which have got administrative sanction for relaying work will be listed on the platform. “Since the relaying works will be posted six months before its commencement, the other agencies will have plenty of time to plan and submit the requests. With a single click, we will be able to monitor the entire work,” Ramachandran said.Initially, PWD roads will be included in the project, but the government will incorporate local bodies and other agencies who also own roads in the state.

“Several roads are also guarded by local self-government bodies and their development agencies.”Though we are not initially including them in the project, their roads will be added in the second phase. The agencies will be required to upload future road relaying work on the platform. The name of the online portal will be decided later,” Ramachandran said.


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