The Pachalam ROB has been a long cherished dream of the people to ease the choking traffic woes. Ending the long wait, the construction ceremony was inaugurated on Tuesday. The stone was laid for project and the piling work was also kick-started simultaneously.
Union Minister of State for Food and Public Distribution K V Thomas who inaugurated the work hoped that the authorities could come up with a plausible plan for the Vaduthala ROB too and requested the support of E Sreedharan, Principal Adviser, DMRC, for it. “The demand for the Pachalam ROB was raised more than 20 years ago and it will soon become a reality. But it could not have been possible without a proper vision and support from E Sreedharan. Hence at this juncture, I request him to come up with a plausible solution regarding the Vaduthala ROB too,” he said.
K V Thomas said that the construction of the ROB could be completed within six months. “Twenty-two shops would have to be evicted for the purpose. If they cooperate, we can complete the work within six months,” he said.
The Minister also pointed out that the work of Thirunettur ROB was pending. “An outlay of `10.5 crore has already been allocated for it, of which `3.5 crore has been allotted from my fund and remaining `8 crore will be shared by Excise Minister K Babu and Ludy Luiz MLA from their MLA fund. But the project is on hold as it has to be cleared by the Railways. Hence, I request the DRM, who is here, to resolve the issue at the earliest,” he said.
Principal Adviser to DMRC E Sreedharan said that if needed the proposed two-lane bridge could be made into a four-lane one. “It has been designed in such a way that it has the facilities to be developed into a four-lane one. The public needn’t be apprehensive of the fact that the new bridge will have only two lanes. When the adjacent roads are widened, the bridge can also be widened,” he said.
Sreedharan assured that the work could be completed in six months provided the required land is acquired.
KMRL MD Elias George assured that many roads in the city would be developed as part of the Metro Rail project.
P Rajeeve MP who spoke on the occasion mentioned the difference in opinion that cropped up regarding the bridge. “Of course, there should be differences. But it is always better to have something rather than nothing,” he said. But he also cautioned the government that proper initiatives should be taken to ensure railway funding.
“The North ROB has been opened, but we are yet to get the Railways’ share,” he said.
Hibi Eden MLA presided over the function. Ludy Luiz MLA, Charles Diaz MP, N Venugopal, GCDA Chairman, Elias George, KMRL MD and Sunil Bajpayee, DRM, Thiruvananthapuram, also attended the function.