Begin typing your search above and press return to search.
News Updates

Kerala High Court Directs State To Swiftly Decide On Proposal To Construct Gabion Box Bridge Over Pampa River At Sabarimala

Hannah M Varghese
18 Nov 2021 2:45 PM GMT
Kerala High Court Directs State To Swiftly Decide On Proposal To Construct Gabion Box Bridge Over Pampa River At Sabarimala
x

The Kerala High Court on Thursday directed the State to take a final call on the proposal to construct a Gabion box bridge across the Njunangar river at Pampa and to commence the construction work immediately. A Division Bench comprising Justice Anil K.Narendran and Justice P.G. Ajithkumar issued the directive in a matter pertaining to the urgent need to reconstruct the damaged Njunangar...

The Kerala High Court on Thursday directed the State to take a final call on the proposal to construct a Gabion box bridge across the Njunangar river at Pampa and to commence the construction work immediately.

A Division Bench comprising Justice Anil K.Narendran and Justice P.G. Ajithkumar issued the directive in a matter pertaining to the urgent need to reconstruct the damaged Njunangar Bridge at Pampa during the ongoing Mandala Makaravillku Festival at Sabarimala.

Pursuant to an earlier Court order, a temporary road had been constructed by the Irrigation Department to ensure the movement of heavy vehicles to the Sewage Treatment Plant and also to the Incinerator at Pampa during the upcoming festival.

However, torrential rain in the Pampa area resulted in a flash flood, causing the water level to rise. The newly constructed temporary road was completely washed away/destroyed in the incident.

In these circumstances, it was found that considering such extreme weather conditions, the temporary road was likely to be damaged and the only alternative was to construct a Bailey Bridge across the Njunangar River at Pampa as a temporary measure.

However, the Army conveyed its inability to commit to the construction citing its preoccupation at the northeast borders.  When the Centre informed the Court of the difficulty faced by the Army Headquarters, the Bench had directed the State to come up with an alternative proposal.

When the matter came up for hearing today, the Senior Government Pleader submitted that the government had two alternative proposals on constructing a bridge across the river; using Gabion boxes or prefabricated steel structures.

However, he argued that the most feasible and cost-effective option was the Gabion box structure since it would only cost Rs.10 to 12 lakhs while the other one would require massive funding. Besides, it was also submitted that it was very difficult to construct the prefabricated steel bridge since it necessitated the erection of two pillars on the banks, which was comparatively more time-consuming. 

That apart, the movement of heavy materials for construction to the shore would cause inconvenience to the pilgrims. In fact, the Gabion box bridge could be erected within 10 days, it was submitted

At this juncture, the Court deemed it necessary to issue a directive to the State to take a final decision on the proposal to construct the Gabion box bridge in view of the commencement of the Sabarimala pilgrim season.

Case Title: Suo Motu v. Travancore Devaswom Board

Next Story