THIRUVANANTHAPURAM : As land acquisition procedures have entered into the final stages, the proposed bridge at Vallakadavu in the state capital is inching closer to reality.
The acquisition is expected to be completed next month and the construction of the bridge is slated to start by the end of March. The disbursement of compensation to the landowners who gave up their land for the project will begin soon.
A bridge at Vallakadavu is a long-standing demand of the residents there. The project has been dragging on for over a decade now.
K Ramesh, special tehsildar, told TNIE that the acquisition proceedings will be completed once the remaining fund of `25 crore from the PWD (bridges) is fully received.
“We are collecting the documents, and the scrutiny is underway. Some landowners have pledged the documents to the bank. So we are trying to get those by contacting the bank for verification. We can dispense the compensation very soon after these procedures are finished. Moreover, some more funds need to be mobilized from the PWD, and we have informed them about it. However, we will complete the acquisition by next month and hand the project over to the PWD. The PWD will call a tender, and the work is expected to begin by the end of March,” he said.
In May 2023, the project received an administrative sanction of `39.80 crore. The 136-year-old Vallakadavu bridge is located on the main road connecting Thiruvananthapuram city with the coastal area and the airport.
In 1887, a bridge was built across the Parvathy Puthanar to connect Shankhumukham, Beemapally, and Valiyathura. In 2022, the old bridge was closed as it was in a dilapidated state. The PWD also built a temporary bridge last year, and `5 crore was initially allocated for the new bridge. However, due to the acquisition of land and changes in the design of the bridge, the estimated amount was increased.
The new 500m bridge will come up on the left side of the temporary bridge connecting Valiyathura with the city. The project was announced when V S Achuthanandan was the chief minister. Raagam Rahim, a human rights activist, had worked tirelessly for the realization of the new bridge.