Criticising the Kochi Corporation’s move to include the Ring Road project, mooted by Greater Cochin Development Authority (GCDA), in the list of projects that will be submitted before the Centre, GCDA chairman N Venugopal said it was too early to take up the project for central funding.
He said that the GCDA was still holding talks with the Cochin Port Trust (CPT) authorities.
“The CPT is looking for a parallel road to the Vallarpadam International Container Transshipment Terminal (ICTT). The proposed Ring Road will very much serve their purpose. Constructing the road through the land is not a practical idea owing to the huge cost required for land acquisition and the rehabilitation. For the proposed 10 kilometre stretch intended to be completed in the first phase, we will require more than Rs 1,000 crore if we plan to construct it through the land. Hence, we are looking for an option to construct it through the backwaters,” said Venugopal.
Since there are chances for not getting necessary environmental clearance owing to reclamation of backwaters, the GCDA is pinning its hopes on the norm that environment norms will be relaxed for Port-related activities.
“I do not how the Mayor took a decision to include the project without our consent as the GCDA is yet to take a final decision on the execution of the Ring Road project,” he asked.
However, the Corporation authorities said they have discussed the Ring Road project funding with the GCDA Town Planner before including it in the list of the projects that will be submitted before the Centre to get included in the list of projects under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission additional funding.
The first phase of the proposed Ring Road will cover 10.5 kilometre between Chathiyath and Varappuzha.
“There are lot of encroachments in the coastal areas between Chathiyath and Varappuzha. Once we reach a consensus with the Cochin Port Trust, we will take steps to clear the encroachments and take the preliminary steps for launching the project,” Venugopal told City Express.
The Ring Road, once the entire phases are completed, will connect Chatiyath, Varapuzha, Puthencruz, Mulamthuruthy and Panangad.