Opposition walks out over poor road conditions after adjournment motion denied

In his reply, Public Works Minister P A Mohamed Riyas said scientific methods will be adopted to achieve the aim of ‘pothole-free roads.’
Image of the Kerala assembly used for representative purposes
Image of the Kerala assembly used for representative purposes(Photo | Vincent Pulickal, EPS)

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Opposition on Friday took on the government over the poor condition of roads in the state, and walked out of the assembly after it was denied permission to discuss the matter through an adjournment motion.

Speaking on the notice for an adjournment motion, IUML MLA Najeeb Kanthapuram claimed that barring a few stretches, the 30,000-km-long PWD road network was poorly maintained. “The state government collects Rs 6,000 crore as vehicle tax every year but does nothing for proper upkeep of roads. As many as 4,010 people died and 54,369 were seriously injured in road accidents in 2023. Even the chief minister had to take a 16-km-long detour to avoid potholes on a road in Thrissur,” Najeeb said. In his reply, Public Works Minister P A Mohamed Riyas said scientific methods will be adopted to achieve the aim of ‘pothole-free roads.’ He also assured the MLAs that they will be granted greater role in monitoring the ‘defect liability period’ of roads.

Riyas said the road density in Kerala was three times the national average. “Of the 2.36 lakh km of roads in Kerala, 1.96 lakh km comes under various local bodies, and 29,522 km comes under the PWD. While 19,908 km of roads are maintained through running contract, another 4,783 km of roads are covered by the defect liability period,” he said.

Meanwhile, Leader of Opposition V D Satheesan took exception to Riyas’ personal remarks on Najeeb’s style of presenting the issue and cited instances where roads were dug up within a month of being repaired. He also blamed lack of coordination of various agencies for the issues, and alleged that the government had failed miserably in addressing the ‘pathetic’ condition of roads in Kerala.

‘Avoid notice for adjournment motion on Fridays’

To ensure sufficient time for private members’ business designated for Fridays, Speaker A N Shamseer has urged members to avoid giving notice for an adjournment motion on that day unless the matter is of very urgent or serious nature. The Speaker came up with the proposal in the wake of complaints that private members’ business gets only limited time on Fridays as the house has to disperse at 12.30 pm.

Rs 30-crore package for cashew sector

A Rs 30-crore package to support the cashew sector will be implemented soon, Minister for Industries P Rajeeve informed the Assembly on Friday. Of the Rs 30-crore package, Rs 20-crore has been earmarked for payment of the employers’ component of the Provident Fund and Employees State Insurance of cashew workers. While Rs 5 crore will be spent for modernisation of shelling of cashew nut, Rs 5 crore will be used to create women-friendly working environment at private cashew units.

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