New smart roads set to transform Thiruvananthapuram's landscape

The Ayyankali Hall-Zam Zam stretch will not only undergo blacktopping but will also be beautified, taking inspiration from the design of the Manaveeyam stretch.
Image used for representational purpose. (File photo | Vincent Pulickal)
Image used for representational purpose. (File photo | Vincent Pulickal)

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The construction of two significant smart road projects in the capital is set to commence next week. These projects, namely the  Ayyankali Hall (formerly VJT Hall) to Zam Zam stretch and the Spencer-AKG Centre stretch are part of the Smart City Mission scheme and have been pending for a considerable period. The contract for both projects has been awarded to Kochi-based Tech Mantra.

The Ayyankali Hall-Zam Zam stretch will not only undergo blacktopping but will also be beautified, taking inspiration from the design of the Manaveeyam stretch. The beautification will incorporate themes reflecting the traditions and architecture of Ayyankali Hall and the nearby University College. Additionally, work on the road in front of the Government Model School at Thycaud will commence within two weeks, with the contract for this stretch also finalised.

A senior official from Smart City Thiruvananthapuram Limited (SCTL), the implementing agency of the smart roads in the capital,  said, “The work from Ayyankali Hall to Zam Zam Road will begin next week, and it will be transformed into a stretch similar to  Manaveeyam Road. The enhancements will include landscaping, lighting, and a distinct colour theme. However, the Spencer-AKG Centre road will be a standard smart road. Several pending road projects will also be completed before December.”

Meanwhile, the tender for the construction of the longest smart road from Althara to Attakulangara has been extended to September 23. The original deadline was September 7, which was later extended to September 14. According to a Kerala Road Fund Board (KRFB)  official, this extension is due to the high interest from contractors wishing to participate in the tender process.

The official explained, “Contractors have shown a positive response and are eager to participate in the bidding process, mainly because the project’s cost has been reduced. Initially, it was planned as a white-topped road but was changed to a blacktop due to the significant cost savings. We expect construction on this stretch to commence as soon as possible.”

The original deadline for completing the Althara-Attakulangara stretch was June 2023, but it has been extended to June 2024. The KRFB  official also noted that the work on the Althara-Attakulangara road will likely be finished by March 2024. The KRFB had previously awarded a contract for this project in late 2021, but the contractor failed to meet the timeline, resulting in public criticism and the eventual cancellation of the contract.

The first phase of the project will focus on making the stretch from Althara junction to the Thycaud overbridge near the Government  Hospital for Women and Children ‘smart.’ In the second phase, the road from Thycaud to Attakulangara will be developed. 

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