Corporation Decision on RoB Width Irks Opposition - The New Indian Express

Corporation Decision on RoB Width Irks Opposition

Published: 17th December 2013 09:13 AM

Last Updated: 17th December 2013 09:13 AM

The rift between the ruling front and the opposition of the Kochi Corporation on Pachalam Rail Overbridge (RoB) is widening with the Tony Chammany-led administration deciding to go ahead with the decision to reduce the width of the proposed bridge.

As per the ruling front, the reduction of width will help in the speedy   implementation of the project as the land acquisition cost and project cost can be considerably reduced.

The Pachalam RoB was actually proposed to be constructed at a width of  22 mts along with the additional 8 mts for service roads on both the sides. “As per the alignment, more than `300 crore is needed for acquiring land. But, as per the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) guidelines, under which the project is sanctioned, the gradient should be maintained at 1:30,” Chammany told City Express.

If the project is implemented by utilising the funds from JNNURM, the gradient should be maintained at 1:30 and the total length of the bridge will be approximately 240 m, on the assumption that the height of the bridge is 8 mts. But, if we go for a reduced width, for instance, 12 mts bridge and eight metre for service roads, the total length of the bridge can be restricted to 160 mts. Since the service roads are necessary only till the length of the bridge, the cost of land acquisition can be reduced to nearly 50 per cent,” the Mayor added.

Stating that the major purpose of the new RoB is to provide an inter connectivity and avoid traffic bottleneck near the Railway gate, the reduction of width will not have a negative effect.

“And, the total cost of construction is estimated at `44 crore out of which the Centre’s share will be 50 per cent, ie only `22 crore. But, JNNURM funds cannot be used for land acquisition. We will have to find more than `300 crore for land acquisition if we execute the project under JNNURM. Considering the situation, we will request the State Government to undertake the project. The meeting that will be convened on December 27 is likely to take a decision in this regard,” Chammany added.

Meanwhile, criticising the ruling front for the inefficiency in carrying out the project, the opposition is planning to launch strong protest against the administration. Terming the remarks made by Mayor Tony Chammany that the previous LDF Government had lied to the Centre for getting projects sanctioned under JNNURM as a new ‘political gimmick’, the Opposition is planning to launch strong agitation with people’s participation.

“The Mayor has come up with the minutes of the JNNURM meeting held during the tenure of the previous Government to hide his inefficiency. We strongly  believe that there is a strong lobby in the ruling front which is trying to sabotage the Pachalam RoB project,” said Opposition councillor M Anilkumar.

Countering the allegations, Chammany said as per the minutes of the 68th Central Sanctioning and Monitoring Committee of JNNURM, the then State Government submitted before the Centre that the land acquisition for projects including Pachalam RoB was completed.

“That is how the projects get sanctioned under JNNURM. The minutes of

the meeting is with us and there allegations against ruling front sabotaging the Pachalam Rob project is baseless,” the Mayor added.

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