Will a shorter, two-lane overbridge lessen problems associated with land acquisition and fund availability for the long-pending Pachalam overbridge?
The suggestion seems to be gaining popularity.
Currently, a 22-metre-wide four-lane bridge is under consideration in the densely populated area.
Though the structure can be built for about Rs. 25 crore, around Rs 100 crore will have to be set apart for land acquisition.
As a result, the project has been put on the back burner for the past two decades.
Former Mayor and present Chairman of corporation’s town planning committee K.J. Sohan reminded that Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) funds cover only the construction cost. The corporation and State government would find it tough to garner fund for land acquisition and rehabilitation, he said.
Ernakulam MLA Hibi Eden blamed Kochi Corporation for lack of clarity on the alignment and land acquisition.
“The agency must ready a detailed project report so that work can begin at the earliest. With plans afoot to revive old railway station located behind the Kerala High Court, more trains will pass through Pachalam. This means motorists will have to wait longer at the level crossing,” Mr Eden said.
State government has convened a meeting in Thiruvananthapuram on Wednesday to finalise plans to build the bridge and to revive Old Railway Station. The development of GCDA’s coastal road too will be discussed at the meeting.
CPI (M) Ernakulam area committee had recently constituted an action committee demanding immediate and long-term solutions to acute transportation problems that affect people of Pachalam, Chitoor, Vaduthala etc.,.