With the work of the proposed Kochi Metro Rail expecting to be launched this year, the infrastructure facilities of the city should be improved so as to facilitate the effective implementation of the project.
The stakeholders of city’s development are pinning their hopes on the state government’s Budget that will be presented by Finance Minister K M Mani on Friday for major allocations for key infrastructure projects.
“Improvement of infrastructure facilities, including the construction of flyovers and development of major junctions, is the need of the hour. Among this, the government is likely to make provisions for flyover at Kundannoor, Edappally, Vyttila and Palarivattom junctions. With land acquisition will be a major hurdle for road development in the future due to high cost of land, the state should support the flyover projects which will decongest these major junctions where heavy traffic snarls are a common sight,” experts say.
According to them, the Seaport-Airport Road, the work of which was commenced some 10 years ago is yet to be completed and land acquisition was the major hurdle in front of the project.
The work was expected to be completed in four phases. The first phase between Karingachira and HMT Junction was completed years back. But the stretch between HMT Junction and Nedumbassery airport, airport outskirts and Angamaly and Karingachira and Kundanoor are yet to be completed.
If the project is completed vehicles coming from Alappuzha can go to Thrissur without touching Ernakulam, Kalamassery, Aluva and Angamaly.
The Kochi Metro Rail Limited authorities are also expecting allocation for land acquisition in this year’s budget. As the Central Government’s funds cannot be used for land acquisition, the state will have to provide the funds for the purpose and an amount worth Rs 3000 crore is expected to be allotted for the Metro Rail.
The Greater Cochin Development Authority (GCDA) is also expecting the state government’s help for some key infrastructure projects mooted by them, including the Ring Road project.
Likewise, the Corporation is also expecting fund allocation for land acquisition for completing some major infrastructure projects like the construction of Rail Overbridges including Atlantis RoB. “Some key projects carried forward under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) are now at a standstill owing to the lack of funds for land acquisition. Hope this year’s budget will address these concerns,” said a top Corporation official.