Municipal Council to launch stir against NHAI ‘apathy’
The Kalpetta Municipal Council is gearing up to launch a series of agitations against the alleged apathy of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) in completing the construction works of the footpaths in the town.
Speaking to media persons here on Wednesday, Municipal Chairman Mujeeb Keyemthodi said that the authority had awarded the construction works of the footpaths on both the sides of NH-766 at a cost of ₹1.86 crores to five private contractors in 2018.
Though two contractors had completed the works in a time-bound manner and works of two others were under way, one contractor was yet to start the work, Mr. Mujeeb said. An alleged nexus between the officials of the NH and the contractor was the reason for the untimely delay in starting the works, he said.
The bad condition of nearly a 1-km stretch of the footpath was the major concern of the public. The civic body had given a deadline to the contractor for completing the works by March-end this year, but there were no positive results for it.
Moreover, the civic body had submitted grievances to the officials concerned and governments demanding to adopt legal action against the contractor, he said.
The council was not able to initiate any development work, including the beautification of the town by erecting street lights and completing the works of drinking water supply, owing to the alleged negligence of the contractor and the officials, he said.
The council members, led by the Chairman, would stage a dharna in front of the office of the National Highways superintending engineer in Kozhikode at 10 a.m. on May 18 in protest against the alleged apathy of the agency. If the authority failed to take action, the agitation would be intensified with the support of the public, Mr. Mujeeb said.