All eyes on Chief Minister's review meet
By Express News Service | Published: 11th October 2013 08:41 AM |
With various complaints already being raised from different quarters against the lack of preparatory work before launching the construction of Kochi Metro Rail, all are pinning their hopes on the review meeting to be chaired by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on October 26 in Kochi.
The CPM already launched a campaign demanding the reconstruction of the South Rail Overbridge (ROB) on Thursday. After staging a Dharna at the ROB, P Rajeeve MP alleged that there was a serious lapse on the part of the state government in launching preparatory work ahead of the commencement of construction of Kochi Metro Rail. “During the tenure of the last LDF-led government, funds were allocated for four major preparatory projects of Kochi Metro Rail. The then government also completed the tender procedures for two key projects for which funds of `158 crore were allotted. Accordingly, the DMRC launched the reconstruction of the North ROB and the new ROB at Salim Rajan Road, that has already been commissioned. The work of the North ROB is nearing completion. Apart from these works, the present UDF government has failed in launching any preparatory work ahead of the Metro Rail construction,” Rajeeve alleged.
Regarding the South ROB, Rajeeve said that the reconstruction of the bridge is the need of the hour as the traffic through the South junction, which already faces heavy traffic congestion, will become a mess if the authorities decide to go ahead with the Metro Rail work without revamping it. “The remodeling of the bridge will be impossible in future once the viaducts are constructed for the Kochi Metro. Hence we have put forth the demand for reconstructing the South ROB along with other preparatory work. We have also decided to intensify the protest measures if our demands are not met,” he said.
Meanwhile, another demand put forth by various stakeholders of city’s development is the widening of the Thammanam-Pulleppady road as part of the ongoing preparatory work of Metro Rail construction. The widening of the road is crucial for diverting the traffic during the construction of Kochi Metro. The actual plan is to widen the 2.8-km Thammanam-Pulleppady stretch from 18 m to 22 m. A total of 20 acres of land will have to be acquired for widening and rehabilitation. The estimated cost of land acquisition alone is more than `175 crore. Though the 4(1) notification for land acquisition was issued earlier, the proposed widening plan is yet to materialise.
The water woes experienced by the public due to damaged pipelines in some areas where the construction work is going on also shows the lack of proper organisation of the preparatory work. “In the case of MG Road, the DMRC should carry out a proper inspection to trace the utility lines before launching the work,” said a Corporation official.
He also said that an action plan should be launched for implementing the pipe laying work on SA Road along with the Kochi Metro Rail work.