Traders and residents unsatisfied with Statue-General Hospital road work in Thiruvananthapuram

While they welcome the reopening, many air concerns about the quality of the road
The newly constructed drain, filled with sand, has been covered with slabs at Statue-General Hospital Road in Thiruvananthapuram
The newly constructed drain, filled with sand, has been covered with slabs at Statue-General Hospital Road in Thiruvananthapuram Photo | BP Deepu

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM : After a five-month-long shutdown, the Statue-General Hospital road was opened to public giving relief to traders and motorists alike. However, the traders and residents are unsatisfied with the smart road work done in haste ahead of the March-31 deadline. While they welcomed the reopening, many aired concerns about the road quality.

The commercially-dense stretch packed with business establishments was shut down last November to facilitate the smart road project. It was inordinately delayed and several deadlines were missed leaving the public in misery. The road is frequented by emergency vehicles going to the General Hospital. “They have covered the newly-constructed drain without removing the filled-up sand. They hastily finished the work in five days. This shows that they could have completed the road work much faster. Several traders had to shut down their businesses because of this work. Thousands of people are working in various commercial establishments lined along this stretch,” said a trader, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

“The slabs are uneven and the overall quality seems compromised. Traders here had to sacrifice so much to facilitate this work. However, they have messed up a good road in the name of development. We still hope that the road will become better after completion of the entire work. If they don’t clear the clogged drains, we may face flooding during monsoon,” the trader added.

Most by-lanes and road networks linked to the Statue-General Hospital road are in a mess. “It’s a relief that the road was opened for traffic. Now people have started coming to the shops here. But many by-lanes in the area are in a bad state and the government should take steps to make them better. We lost five months of business due to the road work. The business will go back to normal only when the condition of other connecting roads becomes better,” said a trader.

An official of Kerala Road Fund Board (KRFB) said that the remaining road works would be completed in the next one or two months. “Only one layer of tarring has been completed. It may look imperfect since we wanted to open the road for traffic. A lot of other works, including pathways, handrails, and street lights, will be completed in the coming weeks,” said the official.

The official said that movable slabs have been placed every five metres for cleaning the drain.

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The New Indian Express