90% of damage to NH stretches is in Wayanad, Idukki
The Public Works Department (PWD) has suffered losses to the tune of ₹2,611 crore in the recent floods and landslips with 1,600 km of roads, 88 bridges and 80 government buildings getting damaged in the State.
The loss to road infrastructure under the PWD has come as a big setback as the PWD was in the process of rebuilding the roads, bridges and buildings that were damaged in the August 2018 floods. The PWD had suffered a loss of ₹11,000 crore in last year’s deluge.
The State exchequer will need ₹2,000 crore to relay the 1,600 km of badly damaged roads, ₹159 crore for the repair of the 88 bridges and ₹2 crore for repairing the government buildings. The 308 km of roads under NH 66, 76, 766, 966, 85, 74 and 183 that had been damaged in the rain will need a sum of ₹450 crore for repairs and restoration.
In the NH corridors, 90% of the damage is to stretches in Wayanad and Idukki and the rest in the hill regions of Palakkad, Kannur, Kozhikode, Malappuram and Kasaragod districts.
Caving in of roads and collapse of protection walls have also been reported.
The temporary Periyavarai bridge in Munnar and the Kaipini bridge in Malappuram have been washed away.
Vehicular traffic has been banned along the Cherupuzha Karinthirikadavu bridge in Wayanad and Vengara Puthenpalam in Malapuram. Traffic along six bridges in Kozhikode, eight in Malappuram, 19 in Palakkad, Orumankadavu bridge in Kottayam, and Parayanthodu bridge in Thrissur has been banned.
The damaged government buildings include the official quarters of the Ernakulam District Collector, judges quarters at Kaloor and Advocate General’s office, Rest House at Angamaly, Malappuram and Kasaragod, and Mens Hostel of the Malappuram Medical College.
Minister for Public Works G. Sudhakaran said the government had decided to go ahead with the repair works despite the financial crunch faced by the State. The bridges would be repaired once the water level receded, he said.
Principal Secretary, Public Works, G. Kamalavardhana Rao, who toured the worst-affected areas of Wayanad, Malappuram and Kozhikode districts for the past two days, told The Hindu that the immediate priority of the department was to restore the roads and bridges and ensure smooth flow of traffic. The field engineers had been asked to take steps to fill the potholes on the roads urgently once the weather improved and to later take up other restoration works.
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