Thrissur: The poor condition of both National Highways passing through Kerala as well as the State Highways has become a contentious topic of late with governments indulging in blame game and opposition too butting in to score brownie points. It has come light that regular maintenance of the highways are not done as stipulated and their condition worsens especially during the rainy season.
Even as the contract provides for carrying out road resurfacing works once in five years in all the National Highway stretches where tolls are collected, the same is not followed in Kerala.
Here, the user fee collections are done without relaying the surface of any of the NH segments in Kerala and this is resulting in their faster deterioration.
In the event of such a contract violation, the authorities should direct for the stoppage of the toll collection.
The contract specifically mentions all the regular road repair works. The provision for completely relaying the road surfaces once in five years is in addition to that.
The toll collection at Paliyekkara in Thrissur district for the Thrissur-Angamaly stretch of the NH-544 was started on February 2, 2012. However, no road resurfacing works have not been done even once so far. As per the contract, the road relaying should have been carried out at least twice during this period.
Besides, regular maintenance works to strengthen the stretch should be initiated based on traffic volume. The National Highway Authority should take a decision in this regard. Also, the NH officials should ensure that the complete road resurfacing works are done once in five years as per the contract provision.
Road relaying was done at certain portions of the Thrissur-Angamaly stretch in various phases. However, such activities in a road portion below 500 metres are considered part of road strengthening work. In this case, the contractor is thought to have included all such works as road relaying and submitted the document to the authorities.