Thiruvananthapuram: The roads in Kerala has just been repaired after the monsoon lashing, only to be dug up by a private mobile service company.
The state government has allowed the company to dig up 416 kilometers of road in various stretches between Kasaragod and Thiruvananthapuram to lay underground cables, overruling the objections of its own public works department.
The company has already paid Rs 75,000 per kilometer of road to be messed up, whereas the government spends Rs 1.5 lakh per kilometer on average to get them right.
The company wants to upgrade its cable network in preparation for the switch to 5G. The cable-laying work will affect national highways as well as roads under the state public works department and the local self-government bodies.
The mobile contractors were told to complete any digging before the repair works were taken up but they refuse to abide by the order every year.
The government spends about Rs 3,000 crore to repair the roads dug up by the utilities, public works minister G Sudhakaran said. The current repair works cost the government Rs 300 crore. The works were delayed by the extended monsoon in Kerala. The government has told the contractors to finish the work before Saturday. However, persisting rains may push the deadline by a week.
The company has also promised free internet connection in district collectorates, taluk offices and block offices. The collectorates will get internet connection at 100 Mbps speed. All offices within 2 kilometers of the roads through which the cables are laid will get free connection for 15 years.
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