After much delay and uncertainties, at last, the Ponnurunni Rail Overbridge (ROB) will be opened to the public this month-end. According to the officials of Kerala Roads and Bridges Development Corporation (RBDCK), which is the implementing agency of the work, the date of inauguration of the ROB will be finalised soon.
“The work of the Ponnurunni ROB is almost over. We will finalise the date of opening of the ROB according to the convenience of the Chief Minister who will be inaugurating it,” said RMBCK Managing Director Mohammed Haneesh.
The new ROB which is 642-m long has a total of 18 spans. The width of the bridge is 8.5 metres except at the span over the railway track which will be 10.5 metres. We have provided a footpath over the railway span and steps have been constructed for getting down from the bridge,” said an RBDCK official.
The total cost of the construction of the bridge is `17.27 crore.
“However, the total cost, including the utility shifting, will come up to nearly `20 crore. The agency has paid `95 lakh to Kerala Water Authority alone for shifting the pipelines. We also paid restoration charges to the BSNL and other agencies,” the official said.
The land acquisition cost for the bridge is nearly `8 crore. The work was undertaken by the contractors, Cheriyan Varkey and sons. The construction work of the bridge was launched in May 2011. “The delay in getting required sanctions from the Railways affected the pace of the work initially. The actual deadline was set for early 2013. However, once the required sanctions were obtained, the work progressed at a rapid pace,” the official said.
The new ROB will allow easy passage from Vyttila to Thammanam, Palarivattom and Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium. The vehicles from Thammanam will be provided an easy access to the National Highway and with the opening of the bridge, the narrow Thammanam-Pulleppady road will be decongested to an certain extent.