The City Road Improvement Project has been taking far too long to get completed. With each stage of the project, adjustments are made to the original design to accommodate the demands of certain sections of people. In spite of the compromises and the delay, the project has reached its final stages, and the result has been an improvement in the road standards in certain parts of the city.
Trivandrum Road Development Company Limited (TRDCL) is entrusted with the building and maintenance of the roads, for a span of fifteen years. The company is responsible to keep the roads it maintains free of flex boards, hoardings, etc. However, flexes, flags and posters, mostly belonging to political parties are abundant on both sides of the M G Road.
“None dares to touch the flexes put up by the parties; everyone is intimidated by them,” says P Mohanan, Traffic Assistant Commissioner.
After considering the demands of every group involved in the project, the final output of CRIP would be able to sustain the vehicular traffic, growing at the rate of 10% per year, only for a few more years.
The public sighs with relief at the fly-over at Bakery Junction which nears completion, after years of wait. However, with the present layout and width of the approach roads, the junction could soon get back to the original chaotic state in just a few years. The same holds true for many finished works under CRIP. This robs the public of the opportunity to effectively use an improved road system, as it gets outdated even before it is used to its full potential.
“We do remove advertising flex boards , but we can't do anything about the boards kept by the political parties,” says Anil Kumar Pandala, Director, TRDCL “These flex boards have made the roads in front of the Secretariat a really sad sight . They’ve ruined a perfectly good stretch of road. What is even more worrying is the lack of respect shown to the beauty and grandeur of the Secretariat building.”
Pandala, being involved with CRIP in Trivandrum for a long time, knows how much of a difference even a single person can make. “Nothing is going to change unless we do something about it; there is a dire need for a mass movement to set things right,” he says.
With all these potholes, the'I' in 'CRIP' is cannot be improvement. The pessimists win again. Like they say, nothing is going to change.