Kerala PWD Minister Sudhakaran blames district administration for Ernakulam traffic snarls

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PWD Minister G. Sudhakaran and officials inspecting Kundannoor junction on Saturday morning. The bypass junction on the national highway had witnessed day-long traffic snarls on Friday.

He inspects roads at Kundanoor junction

Public Works Minister G. Sudhakaran has said that the Public Works Department (PWD) has no role in resolving the traffic snarls in Ernakulam and it was the responsibility of the District Collector and city police chief to find a solution to the issue.

“PWD engineers can only construct roads. They cannot control the traffic situation. It’s the task of the Road Safety Authority, involving the District Collector and City Police Commissioner, to resolve the traffic snarls,” he told media persons after inspecting the potholed roads at Kundanoor junction here on Saturday.

Mr. Sudhakaran asked whether it was not natural that traffic snarls may occur when two flyovers are under construction. “The Public Works Department has sanctioned Rs 7 crore for carrying out immediate repair and maintenance works of damaged roads in Ernakulam. Already, Rs 1.5 crore of the Rs 7 crore sanctioned was released on Friday,” he said.

He said that repair works were progressing at affected portions on nearly 45 roads in the district. “Traffic jams have always been a feature of Ernakulam. It had gone up even after the Kochi Metro was sanctioned,” he said.

The Minister asked what was so special in the city police chief venturing out to fill the potholed roads. “He did that after taking the concrete from our engineers,” he said, while supporting the statement by District Collector S. Suhas that immediate repair works will be complete in a week.

Mr. Sudhakaran said that the contractor has assured that the flyover work at Kundanoor will be over by March next. “Sixty seven percent work of the flyover was over in a short period of time. You are bothered about only a pothole. A pothole can be filled by any Minister or policeman. But officials are required for constructing bridges. This is not Palarivattom flyover. A few people had tried to make this [Kundanoor] bridge like Palarivattom. But we did not allow that,” he said.

On public protests against toll collection for the use of badly damaged roads, Mr. Sudhakaran said that the government was against toll collection and was not levying any toll for roads constructed by the government.

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