Can’t Do Away with Toll at Ponnurunni RoB: Chandy
Despite mounting pressure to not impose toll, Oommen Chandy on Saturday said that if toll collection is exempted at Vyttila-Ponnurunni RoB, there would be a general demand to exempt toll collection from many other RoBs being opened in the state.
He said since the Roads and Bridges Development Corporation (RBDC-K), which is the implementing agency for most of the RoBs in Kerala, does not have much budgetary support from the state government, it would put excess financial burden on the entity.
This would, in turn, slow down the construction and implementation of more RoBs in the state.
“Since Kerala has received the zero unmanned level crossing status, the government is currently committed in constructing RoBs and road underbridges (RuBs) to eliminate level crossings in the state. If projects such as the suburban rail corridor is to be implemented, it is mandatory to eliminate all level crossings existing in the sector,” Chandy said.
Chief Administrative Officer of Southern Railways Dani Thomas said proposals have been forwarded by the state government to include 13 RoBs in this year’s railways works project.
The state government should be committed to commissioning at least 15 RoBs every year and the government is requested to set aside `150 crore for the same in every Budget to meet this target, Dani Thomas said.
He said that currently an average of two or three RoBs are being commissioned in the state every year.
Mayor Tony Chammany exhorted the need to complete the construction of Thamanam-Pullepady road which would ease traffic movement along Ponnurunni RoB. It will also help to further decongest the Vyttila junction. The Mayor said funds, which were utilised for the construction of Ponnurunni RoB, could be retrieved through JNNURM funding. “If this is done, toll collection at the RoB can be exempted,” he said.
Benny Behanan MLA said representations will be forwarded to the CM to scrap toll for Ponnurunni RoB.