The construction of Vallakkadavu bridge, which is in a dilapidated condition, is likely to take more than the estimated time. The plan of the public works department to construct a temporary bridge ahead of the demolition of the existing one is getting delayed. Moreover, there is no progress in the land acquisition required for the construction of the bridge.
Despite two attempts, the PWD has not found a single bidder for the construction of the temporary bridge, which could handle traffic. “Now, we have invited the third tender. If this too fails to get a bidder, we have to look for other options such as quotations,” said a PWD official.
The PWD’s plans are to construct a mud bridge at a cost of 70 lakh INR in 3-4 months after giving tender. The state government had given administrative sanction for the construction around four months ago.
Meanwhile, PWD officials said that construction of Vallakkadavu bridge would take off only when the revenue department completes acquisition of around 40 cents. PWD alleged that there was no progress in land acquisition.
The Vallakadavu bridge, which was constructed in 1887, connects the city to places such as Beemapally, Valiyathura, domestic airport etc. It is also the major route taken by heavy vehicles bringing goods to FCI warehouse. The public has been opposing reconstruction works as they feared that it would bring trouble to their daily commutation.
Also, the processions for ‘alpasi’ and ‘paikuni’ festivals of Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple are taken through this route. The local people agreed to the reconstruction only after PWD promised to construct a temporary bridge.
Last year, human rights commission had intervened to speed up reconstruction of the bridge, which is in a dilapidated condition. The commission had noted that urgent steps should be taken considering the fact that several heavy vehicles, including school vans, were using the bridge on a daily basis.