THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Smart City Thiruvananthapuram Limited (SCTL) has expedited the pipeline laying work in front of Holy Angels Convent School in the district after the dug-up roads caused inconvenience to students, teachers and pedestrians alike. The middle portion of the road in front of the school was excavated overnight to lay pipelines as part of the smart road work on the General Hospital-Vanchiyoor Road. It was dug up three metres wide, and the soil was dumped on either side of the road, causing disruptions in free movement.
The teachers and students staged a protest on Friday against the excavation without prior notice. The protest ended only after they received assurance from the Kerala Road Fund Board that the dug-up road would be covered soon. SCTL is the executing agency of the project.
“We are laying a water supply dig line. It is a time-consuming process. However, the contractor has sped up the work so that it could be completed within 48 hours. We expect that a majority of the dug-up road will be covered by Sunday evening, and we will ensure that there is no more trouble for the school students and pedestrians,” a senior SCTL official told TNIE.
The Holy Angels Convent School authorities said the contractor or the SCTL should have informed the school about this excavation and created a way for the students to enter the school. “We did not get any prior notice from any authorities. They should have informed us at least a day before the excavation. We came to know about that only on Friday morning after the school bus drivers informed us. Our school has more than 4,000 students. Many of the students could not move to the school, and hence we launched the protest. Hopefully, they will repair and cover the road by Sunday evening,” said school principal Sr Sebin Fernandez.
Meanwhile, the official clarified that the agency did not give prior notice to the school as there is an alternative road to reach the school.
The General Hospital-Vanchiyoor Road smart road works started a month ago, and half of the road has been dug up for the renovation works. The project deadline is March 24.
Expressing solidarity with the school authorities, former minister and Congress leader V S Sivakumar said the nuns and teachers of Holy Angels came out publicly to protest the deplorable condition of the road in front of the convent, where thousands of children and guardians arrive daily.
“All major roads in the city have been dug up, hampering the smooth flow of traffic and making people’s lives difficult. The Smart City project, which was supposed to be completed much earlier, is dragging due to the negligence of the corporation and the government. No one is against the construction work. However, it should be carried out in phases so that commuters do not face any difficulty. Unscientific road construction is the cause for all problems,” Sivakumar said in a statement.