The authorities of Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) have decided to commence widening work on the National Highway between Aluva(Pulinchode) and Edappally on a war-footing. The encroachments along the stretch will be evicted and the tarring work will be carried out to ensure a two lane carriage way on both sides even after barricading eight metres in the centre of the Highway for the construction of viaducts of Kochi Metro Rail. The decision in this regard was taken at the review meeting of various stakeholders, which was presided over by KMRL managing director Elias George here on Friday to discuss the key infrastructure projects to be taken up along with Kochi Metro work. As there is no need for acquiring land for the widening, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) will soon undertake the widening works.
However, the National Highways Authority of India is yet to give its clearance for the construction along the NH. A high-level delegation comprising Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, Works Minister V K Ibrahimkunju, KMRL managing director Elias George and PWD secretary T O Sooraj will hold discussions with NHAI authorities in New Delhi next week seeking the necessary permissions so that the construction work can be started without delay.
Regarding the proposed flyover at Edappally, the meeting has decided to begin the land acquisition proceedings for 1.75 acres of land required for the construction soon. The KMRL authorities will soon sign a MoU with the other nodal agencies including NHAI, the KRFB and DMRC for executing the Edappally flyover project. The Kerala Road Fund Board, the funding agency of the project, will hand over `25 crore to the district administration for the land acquisition.
It was also decided at the meeting to invoke the urgency clause for acquiring land for the widening of the Vyttila-Petta road. The PWD will commence road widening soon as the land acquisition is completed. The meeting also discussed the possibilities of widening the Thammanam-Pulleppady road by utilising the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission funds with the help of Kochi corporation. It was decided that land acquisition for the balance land would be fast tracked and action would also be taken to undertake road-widening work by the time land was made available.
PWD Secretary T O Sooraj, district collector P I Shiek Pareeth, directors of KMRL including Mahesh Kumar and Ved Mani Tiwari, PWD chief engineer K P Prabhakaran, NHAI (Palakkad) project director Ramanathan, NHAI (Kochi) project director C T Abraham, DMRC project director P Sriram, KRFB general manager Sudarshanan Pillai and other senior officials also attended the meeting.