The exorbitant cost to acquire land is the major reason for the delay in implementing Pachalam Rail Overbridge (RoB) project, Kochi Mayor Tony Chammany said here on Friday.
Addressing a press conference, the Mayor said he would request the government to allot a special package for completing the much-delayed road development projects in the city.
The Kerala High Court had recently criticised the civic body for its indifference towards the proposal to construct an RoB at Pachalam.
“The Pachalam RoB project is being delayed due to the scarcity of funds for land acquisition. Though the project was included in the JNNURM, we need to find funds to the tune of `2,000 crore for acquiring nine acres of land. The Centre will not allot funds for land acquisition for JNNURM projects and the Corporation is not in a financial position to give such a huge amount on its own. We will soon submit all details of the RoB before the court,” he said.
The Centre will give 50 per cent of the project cost which is estimated at `44 crore.
The state government will have to pump in 30 per cent while the Corporation will have to raise the remaining 20 per cent. The Corporation is now planning to reduce the width of Pachalam RoB from the proposed 22 metres to 18.5 metres.
This move is likely to affect the JNNURM funding as 22 metres is the minimum width required as per the Union Ministry’s norms.
“If the state government takes up the project of its own, the total project cost will be only `18 crore,” the Mayor said.Meanwhile, Union Minister of State for Food and Civil Supplies K V Thomas has mooted a proposal to redesign the RoB.
“The proposal will be discussed with all stakeholders at a high-level meeting,” the Mayor said.
He added that he would soon submit a complaint before the Centre against the KSRTC for putting JNNURM buses on inter-district services, which is a violation of the Union Government’s guidelines.