THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), which is planning to complete Kazhakkoottam-Mukkola project soon, has not been able to finish the construction of service roads. Due to the absence of proper service roads, buses stop on the main road, leading to traffic blocks and road safety issues.
Sources blamed public protest for this issue. “Despite several attempts, NHAI couldn’t build the retaining wall and drain at Guru Nagar near Infosys due to public protest. People demanded a pedestrian underpass and protesters disrupted work,” sources said.
NHAI, which might seek police protection, is planning to restart the work within 15 days as it must finish the project within a few months.
“Buses are now stopping on the main road, which will affect the smooth flow of traffic on the national highway. The buses should ideally use service roads. Now, passengers wait for buses on the highway, which is an additional risk,” sources said.
The construction of a drain was affected by protest and NHAI had to construct a separate drain at Kazhakkoottam to prevent waterlogging.
Though NHAI declined the proposal for a pedestrian underpass citing design issues , residents argued that crossing was becoming a difficult task along the stretch.
It also rejected a foot overbridge (FOB) plan, stating that pedestrians would not use it citing the huge, level difference.
Sources said that though NHAI provided FOBs at several locations, pedestrians weren’t using them.
Speeding vehicles, lack of streetlights and crossing facilities make life difficult for pedestrians.
Meanwhile, tourism minister Kadakampally Surendran and NHAI officials are planning an inspection at Karikkakom next week. At this spot, a retired teacher and her daughter were killed in an accident while crossing the highway.
One of the major pending works is the construction of Chackai flyover, which NHAI is planning to complete by next week.Source: Times Of India