With the Detailed Project Report (DPR) for Thiruvananthapuram monorail project submitted to the State Government, the ambitious project is again on track. While the first phase of the project would take three-and-a-half years to complete and is expected to glide smoothly, the second phase includes land acquisition on the 8-km stretch from Kariavattom to Kesavadasapuram.
The NATPAC (National Transportation Planning and Research Centre) is engaged in preparing a DPR for the road-widening which would be ready in two months.
According to NATPAC officials, four-laning of the road from Kazhakkoottam to Kochulloor in the second phase would require acquisition of land, to widen it to 45 metres. The survey for the road-widening has already begun. ‘’The survey and then the preparation of design and sketches would take sometime. We expect the work to get over in two months,’’ said B G Sreedevi, NATPAC Director.
Though the monorail is fully elevated and requires only the land for setting up the circular pillars, at Sreekariyam and Kazhakkoottam the project would require the construction of two flyovers in the second phase. The survey and the DPR would include the details for the construction.
According to the DPR submitted by DMRC (Delhi Metro Rail Corporation) Principal Advisor E Sreedharan, each train would have three cars with a seating capacity of 525 passengers. It will have aluminium body and a wide vestibule. Escalators will be set up at six stations - Technocity, Kazhakkoottam, Sreekariam, Pattom, Secretariat and Thampanoor. The platforms will have screen doors so that passengers do not fall on to the track.
The trains will work under a latest signalling system - the Communication-based Train Control (CBTC). The number of trains required by the end of 2017 is 22. The DPR says that though the trains can run driver-less, it proposes the presence of a driver to give the passengers confidence to travel. There will be no guard. Two receiving sub-stations have been proposed - one at the depot at Technocity and the other at Kesavadasapuram.
Though the monorail project is proposed for 22.2 km with 19 stations, the project report leaves space for future extension of the project to south up to Neyyatinkara and towards north as the development of Technocity happens. Flyovers have been proposed at five spots - Kazhakkoottam, Sreekariyam, Ulloor, Pattom and Plamoodu. The detailed plan for this has already been submitted. The cost of the flyovers has been estimated at Rs 73 crore. As many as 39 families and 65 shops need to be resettled for the construction of the flyovers.
The stations at Thampanoor and Kesavadasapuram have been planned as junction stations for future monorail lines. The design for Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode monorail projects would be the same.
The third phase of implementation would be from Kesavadasapuram to Karamana. DMRC has identified certain plots of land for the project. The government land required is 13.750 hectares, Railway land 0.580 hectares and private land 2.820 hectares, taking it to a total of 17.15 hectares.