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Sunday, 17.10.2021
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Officials raise issue at a meet chaired by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan; sources allege work on stretches under PWD & road fund board lagging.

Lack of coordination among various government departments including PWD, KSEB and KWA has hit the ambitious smart road works in the capital as part of the Smart City Mission project. On Saturday, a meeting of the Smart City project chaired by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, reviewed the works.

The meeting witnessed criticism that the works are progressing at a slow pace and concluded that only a smooth coordination among the stakeholders could complete the project before the deadline. The Rs 427-crore project for 46-kilometre road in the city is expected to be completed in February 2023. However, the main challenge is shifting of utility lines including power, telecom, digital TV and optical fibre cables and construction of the multi-utility ducts and stormwater drains.

The works are being carried out under two sections. Sources said the development of roads coming under the corporation is progressing at a good pace while the works on the roads which come under PWD and Kerala Road Fund Board (KRFB) are still lagging. As many as 20 roads of 9.87km in length comprising nine wards come under the corporation. These are being developed at a cost of Rs 104 crore. Twenty kilometres of 40 roads come under PWD while 16 kilometres come under KRFB.

“There is no proper coordination among the stakeholders. The KSEB, KWA and PWD are at loggerheads over utility line shifting and digging up of roads. Since this is a project of huge dimension, coordination is the key. The state government should appoint a special officer to oversee the activities. Then only, the works will be carried out smoothly, “said Shelly Raveendran, a member of Trivandrum Development Front, an NGO working for the development of the capital city.

The preliminary works of the project began in February this year, but the district collector had stopped road cutting and digging activities owing to the election code of conduct. The second wave of pandemic also caused delays.

According to Smart City Thiruvananthapuram Limited (SCTL) authorities, the survey for the utility ducts is being carried out on the roads under PWD and KRFB. “It is true that there is some delay in the proceedings. It is mainly due to the shifting of optical fibre cables. If any fibre is cut, it will affect the data connectivity.

So, a detailed planning is on. However, the development of old roads under the city corporation is progressing fast. Mainly, the corporation roads are interconnected to the PWD roads. So the development of the roads fully under the corporation is in full swing,” said a senior officer.

Project at a glance

As part of the project, 46 kilometres of roads in the capital will be made as per global standards. All overhead lines would be laid underground so that no cables and electric posts could be seen on either side of the roads. The other features are dedicated cycle tracks, LED streetlights and footpaths. The contractors of the project which will be implemented in four phases have been selected.

The main goal of the project is to focus on enabling local area development and harnessing technology, particularly technology that leads to smart outcomes, to drive economic growth and improve people’s quality of life.

Smart City is one of the four key flagship missions launched by the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs. The goal is to use smart solutions to provide core infrastructure and a decent quality of life for citizens, as well as a clean environment.

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Autor(en)/Author(s): Krishnachand K

Quelle/Source: The New Indian Express, 06.09.2021

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