A daunting task of mobilising resources for relaying 2,478.71 km of State Highways (SH) and Main District Roads (MDR) in the State damaged due to the monsoon fury is ahead of the government.

In addition to relaying roads in the 14 districts, hundreds of potholes that have surfaced in almost all roads need to be filled urgently. The reconstruction of culverts and retaining walls in the SH and MDR and restoration of the National Highway corridors ravaged by the recent floods are other challenges.

Of the roads which need fresh topping, Alappuzha district tops the list with 400 km followed by Pathanamthitta 395.98 km and Kollam 372 km. Roads in Thrissur 250 km, Idukki 200 km, Kottayam 190.61 km and Ernakulam 157.3 km need resurfacing. Alappuzha- Changanacherry (AC road), Kollam-Theni, Mundakyam-Kumily, Peermade-Vandiperiyar, Munnar-Marayoor, Muvattupuzha-Kakkanad are some of the stretches badly damaged.

Waterlogging has been found to be the main reason for the damages caused to the SH and MDR roads.

Going by the current rate and standards, relaying of one km of road of 5.5 m width will cost the State Rs. one crore. Thus, the State will have to make available Rs. 2,478.71 crore to the Public Works Department for relaying the SH and MDR roads.

A detailed district wise report of the damaged roads prepared by the PWD is before the government with the request for the funds for relaying. The Cabinet is expected to take a call on the allocation of funds as over Rs. 2,500 crore is needed for relaying alone.

The damage suffered by the SH and MDR roads is one of the worst in recent times.

Top priority

The government has decided to accord top priority to filling of potholes to ensure safety of road users and smooth flow of traffic, a top PWD official said. For this, the Plan funds will be utilised and the work will be taken up once the current wet spell is over. The relaying of the damaged 2478.71 km of roads will be taken up after the current monsoon.

A top government official told
The Hindu
said the state-of-the-art technology and new materials would be used while relaying the roads.

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