KOCHI: With the crucial stakeholder meeting convened to finalise the alignment of the proposed Vathuruthy Rail Overbridge (RoB) project failing to reach a consensus, the uncertainty over the proposal is continuing.
The project, which is expected to solve the travelling woes of West Kochi residents to a certain extent, is on a standstill owing to the non-acceptance of the alignment proposed by the Kerala Roads and Bridges Development Corporation (RBDCK). As per the present alignment prepared by the RBDCK, nearly one acre owned by Cochin Shipyard will have to be acquired for the project.
This is for the fifth time that RBDCK is changing the alignment of the project.The bridge was initially proposed at the Vathuruthy level cross.
However, the railway gate area is situated close to the Naval Airport touchdown area and the Navy denied permission for construction of the RoB there. Later, it was planned on the other side near the Halt railway station, for which the alignment was again restructured. However, at a meeting convened by Hibi Eden, MP, on Sunday, officers of Railways, Indian Navy, Cochin Port Trust, Cochin Shipyard and RBDCK failed to arrive at a consensus.
Afterwards Hibi urged Cochin Port Trust officers to consider the proposal’s importance as an important project for West Kochiites and asked them to reconsider their decision on the alignment.The Vathuruthy RoB project was mooted way back in 2011.
The other projects discussed at the meeting on Sunday included the construction of RoB at Atlantis.
“It is learnt that another 50.49 Are of land need to be acquired. There is a need to appoint an acquisition officer from the Revenue Department for theAtlantis RoB project. The corporation had earlier acquired 103.33 Are of land for the project.”
"The Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board has allotted Rs 89.77 crore in February 2018, for the project. We have requested the district collector to complete the land acquisition for the project at the earliest," said Hibi.
In connection with the RoB proposed at Vyttila, the Railways has raised various concerns. "We have asked the RBDCK authorities to re-do the alignment after factoring in the apprehensions raised by Railway officers," said the MP.
Hibi also said one of the major reasons for the delay in flyover projects is the lack of coordination amongvarious stakeholders of the projects, including Railways, RBDCK, Shipyard and Navy. "We have asked the RBDCK and Railway officers to improve the coordination among these stakeholders for the speedy implementation of the projects," said Hibi.
Agreeing to disagree
- The standstill is chiefly due to disagreement over the alignment
- Since railway gate area is situated close to the Naval Airport touchdown area, the Navy denied permission for constructing the RoB there.
- Later, it was planned on the other side near the Halt railway station, for which the alignment was again restructured
- However, the top-level meeting convened by Hibi Eden, MP, on Sunday ended inconclusively