Kerala Kaumudi Online
Monday, 04 July 2022 6.00 PM IST

Roads also need a fixed calendar


It is a common sight in the state for roads to be dug up just before the onset of monsoon and to lie dormant for weeks or months without completion of repairs. When people start complaining, officials would say that the works got halted due to rain. Monsoon is not something unexpected in Kerala. It has exact timing and duration. Authorities are making life miserable for the people by starting road works without considering these facts. It has been almost two months since all the roads in Thiruvananthapuram city were dug up in the name of repair works. Even some of the best roads have been milled as per the new technique for resurfacing. The rain has to stop if these roads have to be resurfaced. Authorities are blaming the unusually long summer rains for this situation.

Road transport is very difficult not only in Thiruvananthapuram but also in most of the cities due to potholes. Authorities have only finished counting the number of potholes on the roads. Once they started the work, it started raining heavily. Many roads are in a state of disrepair, making it impossible to travel by road until the rainy season is over. The Public Works Department should take action to remedy this immediately. It must at least take necessary action to fix the potholes. All the roads in the state are congested due to heavy traffic. No one considers the amount of fuel lost due to poor road conditions. The situation will worsen with the opening of schools next week.

A general calendar can be made for road works in the state, which has to face two back to back rainy seasons. The monsoon season generally begins at a time when the public works department starts to receive its budget allocation. If repairs and tarring can be started by the end of the Northeast Monsoon or Thulavarsham, it can be completed before the Southwest Monsoon or Kalavarsham. The chief maintenance officer in each district should be made responsible for road maintenance. Special arrangements are required for the protection and maintenance of city roads. Instances should be prevented where each department digs up the road at its own will. Roads should be constructed in such a way that there is no waterlogging. Our roads, which face rain for six months, need strength and resilience to survive it.

'Claiming undue credit for the reduction announced by the Centre, states should reduce tax if they have any sincerity'; Union Petroleum Minister lashes out at states. The state will prosper only when the big roads come. Even the development of the National Highways has been stagnant for decades due to indifference and vested interests. Fortunately, the development of the National Highway has now come to life. In addition, the construction of flyovers and underpasses in cities will be the only solution to the severe traffic congestion. Now the government needs to take immediate action on this issue.

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