At the height of the calamitous floods in Kerala last year, a video of a road in Malappuram district splitting into two against the force of floodwaters had made it to all prominent television news channels in the country. The video, purportedly shot on a cell-phone by someone on one side of the wide concrete road, showed frightened locals on the other side watching on as the road succumbed to the fury of nature. In one sweeping fashion, it became one of the defining symbols of the terrifying nature of the floods that claimed over 480 people in the state.
In the immediate aftermath of the floods, a temporary walkway using bamboo poles was constructed with the help of the Army in Vandoor village, where the road once stood. Today, after six months, the road has been fully repaired on a war footing by the state public works department (PWD) and has been thrown open to the public. The repairs are part of the PWD’s state-wide rebuilding of key arterial roads and pathways that had collapsed in the aftermath of the floods.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan Monday posted a video on his official Facebook account that showed the rebuilding of the road. The reconstruction efforts have been carried out at a cost of Rs 25 lakhs.
“Few will forget that sight of a road being washed away in the floods of 2018. A moment that unveiled the monstrosity of that disaster,” he wrote. “The road is now fully serviceable. It was rebuilt in a record time and a cost of Rs 25 lakhs.”
The chief minister said the state PWD has completed repair works of 4,429 km length of roads and an additional length of 3,148 kms are in the final stages of rebuilding. Another 64 designed roads, built to last long, are progressing as well, Vijayan wrote.