The congested South Rail Overbridge (RoB) area is all set for a revamp, as the Kochi Metro Rail Ltd (KMRL) is planning to include it in the proposed Kochi metro rail-related projects.
According to authorities, the decision to reconstruct the South RoB came in the wake of a need to improve infrastructure facilities in connection with the proposed Kochi Metro Rail.
Once the metro rail is commissioned, it would be difficult to undertake a major construction work like the widening of the South RoB.
In this context, the reconstruction of the South RoB was discussed at a meeting held in Delhi on Saturday to discuss issues confronted by the railways in different metros.
“The KMRL informed the railways and the Government of Kerala that once the viaduct is constructed, reconstruction would be impossible. Hence there was a proposal to rebuild it along with the metro project. The railways has given its in-principle approval and the proposal would be considered in the next budget,” said an official spokesperson of the KMRL.
The meeting was chaired by Sudhir Krishna, secretary, Ministry of Urban Development and co-chaired by A P Mishra, member of the Railway Engineering Board.
“For the North RoB, though the KMRL is already funding the cost of construction and half the work has been done, the Railway Ministry has agreed to shoulder fifty per cent of its total cost. The Railway Ministry will include the cost of reconstruction of the North and the South RoBs in the next railway budget.
“The railways will also hold discussions with the Southern Railway authorities regarding the release of land under the railway quarters in Ernakulam South for the construction of viaducts for the Kochi Metro Rail there,” the spokesperson added.
Meanwhile KMRL managing director Elias George said that the Kochi Metro project would not merely be a mode of transportation but would act as a lever for urban renewal.“Our endeavour is to integrate all modes of transportation facilities to provide the commuter hassle-free travel,” he added.