KOCHI: After the forced break induced by the nationwide Covid-19 lockdown, several prestigious infrastructure and development projects which had ground to a halt have started buzzing with activity again. With the activities resuming, albeit on a limited scale, the under-construction projects stuck at various stages could still be completed at a date not farther from their scheduled deadline.
In a positive sign amid the pandemic blues, some of the key ongoing projects, including the Indian Oil Corporation’s (IOC) LPG terminal project at Puthuvype, Gas Authority of India Ltd’s (GAIL) pipeline laying works, BPCL’s Propylene Derivatives Petrochemical Project (PDPP) at Kochi Refinery, the Kochi Metro Rail and Water Metro project are back on track now.
“Under the GAIL pipeline project, presently Chnadragiri river crossing work in Kasargod is in progress which is the only activity pending in the Kochi to Mangalore pipeline project. We are planning to commission 254 km length Koottanad to Kasargod section. The stretch is ready for Petroleum Natural Gas Regulatory Board’s safety audit which will be carried out by Mumbai and New Delhi-based firms. Hence, we are awaiting the state and the Centre’s directives to bring the firms here,” said Tony Mathew, general manager, GAIL.
The work is now going on at a smaller area near the Chandragiri. The stretch is ready for Petroleum Natural Gas Regulatory Board’s safety audit which will be carried out by Mumbai and New Delhi-based firms. Hence, we are awaiting the state and the Centre’s directives to bring the firms here,” said Tony Mathew, general manager, GAIL.
“Adhering to the COVID preventive guidelines, we resumed the work with the support of District administration. GAIL contractors took care of the migrant workers and hence, we were not affected by the exodus,” he said while pointing out that the work had been halted for just over two weeks.
The IOC had resumed the civil works of the LPG terminal on April 25 by employing a minimum number of workers.
“Inter-district and inter-state travel are banned and hence, we were forced to resume the work with the available workforce. Now, the work is picking up momentum and we expect it to go full throttle after the lockdown is lifted completely,” said S Dhanapandian, general manager, LPG Import Terminal Project. The BPCL authorities disclosed that the major works have resumed now while ensuring strict compliance with COVID preventive measures. According to the BPCL spokesperson, the Propylene Derivatives Petrochemical Project (PDPP) at Kochi refinery is all set for commissioning, with working on the Motor Spirit Block project underway.
Kundannoor, Vyttila flyovers
Two key infrastructure projects — the flyovers at Kundannoor and Vyttila -- which are expected to decongest the city are now scheduled for completion by August.
“The pace of work was affected due to the lockdown. However, we have resumed the work on the flyovers. There is a scarcity of construction materials because of the lockdown. But we are hopeful of commissioning them by August,” G Sudhakaran, Works Minister, told TNIE.
Kochi Metro and Water Metro
Though its operations were suspended in the lockdown’s wake, Kochi Metro has resumed construction work on the Thykoodam-Petta stretch from April 22. Though the Petta- SN Junction was scheduled for commissioning by April, the lockdown forced its postponement.
“Extra care is taken to ensure safety at labour camps. The workers are also adhering to the social distancing practices and they don facial masks,” said Alkesh Kumar Sharma, MD, KMRL.
The agency has invited global bids for building workboats for the prestigious Rs 747-crore Water Metro project, which is the largest water-related initiative in Asia. The Cochin Shipyard Limited is constructing the 23 aluminium hull fibre reinforced plastic boats for the project.
Though the first set of boats was scheduled for delivery in November, the deadline is likely to be extended. However, the agency has also resumed the construction activities of the boat jetties.
Business as usual
Indian Oil Corporation’s (IOC) LPG terminal project at Puthuvype, Kochi.
Gas Authority of India Ltd’s (GAIL) pipeline laying works.
BPCL’s Propylene Derivatives Petrochemical Project (PDPP) at Kochi Refinery.
Kochi Metro Rail — construction activities on Thykoodam-Petta stretch.
Water Metro — work on boat jetties resumes; global bids invited for workboats.
Vyttila and Kundannoor flyovers — expected to commission by August as work restarts.