KOCHI:After overcoming hurdles and uncertainties, the Pachalam Rail Overbridge (RoB) project is finally headed for commissioning. According to Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), the implementing agency of the work, the RoB will be opened for the public by October this year.
It was at a review meeting on the city roads and Pachalam RoB chaired by K V Thomas MP held at the Kochi Metro Rail (KMRL) office the other day that the DMRC officials said that they were hopeful of completing the much-awaited Pachalam RoB in three months’ time.
The work of the Pachalam RoB had commenced in March, 2014, after the government entrusted the DMRC with the task of implementing the project. The earlier alignment was remodelled and the work was included in the preparatory works of Kochi Metro Rail project. Initially, the plan was to construct an RoB with a width of 22 metres. But, after considering the practical side like minimal land acquisition and available resources, the authorities concerned came up with a design restricting the width to 10 metres. The two-lane carriageway will also have a one-and-a-half-metre-wide footpath. The estimated cost of constructing the RoB is Rs 52 crore.
Later, a section of people in the area came up with opposition against the project alleging that the RoB’s alignment would touch the premises of Kattungal Temple. It was after various efforts that the authorities concerned were able to convince the local people that the project will not affect the functioning of the temple or hinder the revival of Goshree-Mamangalam Road or that of Old Railway Station in future.
At the review meeting, the DMRC officials said that works are continuing at a fast pace and the bridge could be opened to traffic by October-end. During the meeting, the DMRC officials were instructed to send a letter to Commissioner of Railway Safety, Bengaluru, for getting approval for construction of the span over the RoB. The DMRC requires the permission of Commissioner of Railway Safety to erect the span.
Bad State of Roads
The review meeting was also attended by MLAs Benny Behanan and Hibi Eden, Mayor Tony Chammany and KMRL managing director Elias George. The Mayor, at the meeting, expressed his concern over the condition of roads in the Metro corridor, especially SA Road, Palarivattom -Desabhimani - Kaloor Road and Edappally - Mamangalam Road. The project director of DMRC Dani Thomas promised that the maintenance of the roads along the Metro corridor would be done within two weeks by the contractors of DMRC.
KMRL managing director Elias George said that the improvement, upgradation and modernisation of city roads programme, carried out by KMRL outside the Metro corridor for traffic diversion, will be continued at the earliest. KMRL had undertaken the remodelling of 22 major roads in the city under the programme.
It was suggested in the meeting that the toll collection on Pullepadi -Thammanam bridge should be avoided, especially in the wake of road diversion through the Metro corridor. It was decided to prepare a proposal and submit it to the government seeking its intervention in this regard. Earlier, the move by Roads and Bridges Development Corporation, Kerala, to introduce toll at the RoB had invited widespread protests.
Senior officials from KMRL, DMRC, PWD, Kochi Corporation, KSEB, KWA, GCDA and Revenue Department also attended the meeting.