Minister blames KIIFB for delay in road works

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Minister for Public Works G. Sudhakaran has lashed out at Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB) for delaying projects.

Inaugurating the 4th Engineers’ Congress of the PWD at the Nishagandhi auditorium here on Sunday, Mr. Sudhakaran said the special purpose vehicle which funded road works should own the responsibility of maintaining them.

“The KIIFB-funded roads are not with the Public Works Department (PWD). The PWD engineers do not know what is ‘de facto’ and ‘de jure.’ Five km of roads have been lost,” the Minister said pointing to the plight of KIIFB model roads laid in Alappuzha that had suffered extensive damage due to 44 pipe bursts at Thakazhi.

Proper planning and a separate duct for laying drinking water pipes could have avoided the damage to the five km road corridor.

The Minister said the Chief Project Examiner (CPE) of the KIIFB was unnecessarily delaying the reports of the PWD Executive Engineers. “The CPE is holding on to the report of the reconstruction of the Muppalam for four months. The ₹16c-rore work is getting delayed,” Mr. Sudhakaran said.

Pointing out that already 12 road works funded by the KIIFB had been stopped, the Minister said the KIIFB would have to own the responsibility of maintaining the roads financed by them. Only 30% of the roads funded by the KIIFB would be completed during the current tenure of the LDF government, he said.

In the last five to six months, Mr. Sudhakaran said the condition of roads were getting bad and criticism had even come from Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. The engineers were asked to expedite the steps to repair the roads by December 31.

The Minister urged engineers to use geotextiles and plastic in laying roads. The Chief Engineer, Roads, was asked to submit a report on the delay in repairing the roads leading to Sabarimala.

Principal Secretary, PWD, Rajesh Kumar Singh, who presided over, inaugurated the website of the PWD. The Minister launched the PRICE software and the online portal for contractors. He also presented awards to 11 engineers from various PWD wings for excellence during 2018-19.

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