KOCHI: Widening of the road connecting Thoppumpady and Edakochi was proposed four decades ago to find a remedy to traffic snarls. However, the 40-foot-wide road project is yet to be completed. The project was proposed during the tenure of M K Raghavan, who was the then Mattanchery municipal chairman. However, the widening work began only in the 1980s. Corporation officials cited lack of sufficient funds as a major reason for the delay in the completion of the project.
The stretch from Marine Junction in Palluruthy to Mahatma Gandhi Junction on MLA Road has been completed. Land acquisition works also have to be completed. “The funds allocated for the project are hardly enough considering the compensation they have to provide to owners of houses in the alignment area of the proposed route.
Due to shortage of funds, the road construction has stopped,” George Joseph, a local resident, said. “As of now, no funds have been allocated for the project this year. Even last year, the fund was diverted for the widening works of Sahodaran Ayyappan Road and other roads in the city. Lack of sufficient funds is delaying the process of acquiring more than 5 acres,” said K R Premakumar, councillor. A total of I 5.5 crore was allocated for the 40-foot-road project between 2005 and 2010.
Over the years, nearly `10 crore was spent on the project for acquiring land and widening works. “While a few residents demand more compensation, others are not ready to give up their property,” Palluruthy ward councillor Thampi Subramanian said. At the parliamentary meeting of Congress councillors on September 4, representatives of West Kochi, including Premakumar and Subramanian, raised their voices against the Corporation’s failure to allocate sufficient funds.