Metro Rail Work Chugs On
The construction work of the Kochi Metro Rail, the city’s most ambitious project was flagged off by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on June 7, 2013. The target set for the project is 1095 days. As of December 31, the count down has come to 731 days. In the first phase of the project, the metro rail will operate between Aluva and Petta. The KMRL is actively considering inclusion of Tripunithura in the first phase itself. DMRC Principal Advisor E Sreedharan and DMRC MD Manghu Singh have expressed satisfaction with the progress of the work.
The AL Jacob ROB Eases Traffic
The AL Jacob ROB, earlier proposed to be named Salim Rajan Overbridge as a tribute to the two boys who were killed by a goon in the area, was inaugurated on May 21, 2013. The bridge was mooted as part of the preparatory works for the Kochi Metro Rail project in order to avoid massive traffic congestion once the metro rail project took off. Delhi Metro Rail Corporation was the implementing agency of the project. The construction of the bridge began on October 2011 and the bridge was commissioned in over 17 months. The two-lane 425-metre bridge links Salim Rajan Road, near Gandhinagar, to Rajaji Road near the KSRTC bus stand. The total cost of the project was Rs 49 crore.
Edappally Flyover Work Launched
Paying off the efforts of the common public’s demands, the state government gave administrative sanction for the construction of the Edappally flyover this year in order to reduce the congestion at the junction. The work was inaugurated by Works Minister V K Ebrahim Kunju on November 21. The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has been appointed the task of implementing the project in a time-bound manner. If everything goes as planned, the bridge will be completed within two years.
Hopes High for Pachalam ROB
The agitation for the bridge which was going on for nearly two decades, reached its zenith this year. Even though several proposals were mooted to reduce the traffic block in the area, none materia
lised owing to land acquisition issues. Also, alignment issues and lack of government funding posed a major roadblock for the project. Union Minister of State for Food and Civil Supplies K V Thomas wrote to DMRC Principal Advisor E Sreedharan seeking a plan to construct an RoB here.
Sreedharan prepared an initial report on how the bridge can be developed with minimal land acquisition. Following this, the Chief Minister on December 29 said the government has given in-principle nod to hand over the work to the DMRC. Principal Advisor E Sreedharan has said that once the project is taken up, they can construct the bridge within six months.
LNG Cries for More Connectivity
Petronet LNG partially commissioned its Kochi terminal in August 2013 and the commercial distribution of Liquified Natural Gas commenced fron the terminal. The five-million-tonne terminal, built with an investment of ` 4,200 crore, will cater to the energy requirements of industries in Kerala and other southern states. The terminal received its commissioning cargo from RasGas Qatar LNG. However, it is still striving hard to lure more customers. Currently, the terminal is operating below 10 per cent of its capacity of five million tonnes per year due to lack of connectivity to markets in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
Ponnurunni ROB Stuck in a Rut
The work of the Ponnurunni ROB, which was stuck in a rut owing to the scarcity of funds is nearing completion. The Kerala Roads and Bridges Development Corporation which has undertaken the construction of the Ponnurnnni ROB has said that they expect to commission the bridge soon. The work of the bridge began in 2011 and was expected to be completed in September 2012. Land acquisition issues stood in the way. Once the bridge is commissioned in 2014 it will ease the passage from Vyttila to Thammanam, Palarivattom and JN Stadium.
Vyttila-Kakkanad Boat Service Sets Sail
The Vyttila-Kakkanad boat service was launched in November this year. This is the first such service being conducted on the route. The service begins from the Vyttila Mobility Hub. The Kerala State Water Transport Department has been entrusted with the operation of the ferry service. The service which is yet to pick up pace is expected to be a major blessing for commuters. The service was mooted as part of the preparations for the Kochi Metro Rail which is being integrated at the Vyttila mobility hub. There are plans to extend the service to Infopark.
North ROB Opened
An ideal example of hard work and efficiency, the renovated North RoB was thrown open to the public in record time. The work of the bridge which commenced in November 2011, was completed on December 2013 and commissioned on December 29. Chief Minister Oommen Chandy inaugurated the bridge. The total cost of the construction of the bridge was less than Rs 60 crore. The DMRC has currently integrated the metro structure in the middle of the four-lane bridge to avoid extra land acquisition measures in the area.