The Public Works Department (PWD) has undertaken work on as many as 464 bridges across the State ever since the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government assumed power in 2016, Works Minister G. Sudhakaran has said.
Mr Sudhakaran was inaugurating the newly constructed bridge across the river Pampa on the traditional Thiruvabharanam path leading to Sabarimala at Peroorchaal in Ranni taluk on Monday.
According to him, so far, the LDF government could open a total of 120 bridges for the public. Dedication of 50 more bridges will be made soon.
The Minister said the government was trying to initiate steps to construct not less than 500 bridges before its five-year tenure ends next year.
The State witnessed a spurt in development works during the past four years, which was far above the development works carried out over the past 50 years, he said.
A total of 2,500-km-long roads have been reconstructed and more than 2,000 government buildings were constructed during the past four years, he said.
Mr Sudhakaran said the State housed 43 bridges sans approaches when the LDF came to power in 2016, as all of them were constructed without following proper procedures. The government had completed the official formalities and constructed approach roads to all these bridges over the past four years, he said.
The work on the Peroorchaal bridge began at Keekozhoor-kadavu at Peroorchal 23 years ago. As per the agreement, the gestation period of the project was 18 months.
The bridge work was started with financial assistance from NABARD, 23 years ago. But, the civil work was inordinately disrupted on more than one occasion.
Though the bridge was completed two years ago, the delay in constructing the approach road on both ends had further delayed its commissioning. The inordinate delay in the commissioning of the Peroorchal Bridge was a testimony to the sad of state of affairs with various construction works undertaken by the Public Works Department, earlier, he said.
Mr Sudhakaran said he was happy to commission the bridge before the beginning of the Sabarimala-bound Thiruvabharanam procession from Pandalam in connection with the Makaravilaku festival.
Raju Abraham, MLA, presided over the function. George Mammen Kondoor, district panchayat vice-president; Krishnakumar, Jerry Mathew Sam, block panchayat presidents, and B. Unnikrishnan Nair, PWD Superintending Engineer, also spoke.