|Indecision over laying of pipelines for Indian Oil-Adani Gas Private Limited along city roads continues as the Kochi Corporation is yet to make up its mind.|
Incidentally, the State government had recently ordered the Public Works Department (PWD) to complete restoration of roads that were dug up for laying pipelines for the gasoline project. The previous government had divided the responsibility of restoring roads between the private firm and the PWD.
Now, the entire restoration work, including back-filling, granular sub-base work, and black topping of roads will be carried out by the PWD.
The corporation had earlier demanded higher rates than those fixed by the State government as restoration charges. The civic body argued that the rates proposed by the government were inadequate to restore the roads to the desired quality, leading to the stalling of the project. The Chief Minister had asked the corporation to get the work done when a civic body delegation met him demanding revision of charges.
Though the corporation council, the decision-making forum of the civic body, is scheduled to meet on December 19, the contentious issue of granting permission for digging up roads is yet to find place in the agenda.
Mayor Soumini Jain said the council had earlier asked the works standing committee to look into the issue and forward its recommendations in the wake of the dispute over restoration charges.
However, Ms. Jain, who was unsure whether the works standing committee had gone into the matter as decided earlier, said another meeting of the council was likely to be convened in the the last week of the month. If the works standing committee takes a decision and presents it for the consideration of the meeting, it will be discussed, she added.
The council meeting had discussed the delay in clearing the proposal and the projected loss to the civic body if the work were to be done at the previous rates. The LDF, which had earlier opposed concessions offered to the firm, had diluted its position after the Chief Minister refused to heed to the arguments of the civic administrators.
The new Government Order, entrusting the responsibility of the restoration work with the PWD, had also hiked the restoration charges. The rate for one square metre of Bitumen Macadam Bitumen Concrete road will be ₹3,837 against ₹3,686. Similarly, the rates for concrete roads and the ones that were laid using 40mm chipping carpet method have also been hiked.