GCDA launches work on its much-delayed model road project

The Greater Cochin Development Authority (GCDA) has kickstarted its much-delayed Bund Road project that is expected to help motorists avoid the traffic snarls on SA Road and Vyttila Junction.

The new road running parallel to SA Road will connect Thevara and Champakkara, through Thykoodam on NH Bypass.

The construction of a 15 meter-wide road linking Shastri Nagar and K.P Vallon Road was launched on Saturday. The ground-levelling works were initiated in the presence of GCDA chairman N. Venugopal, senior town planner Gopalakrishna Pillai, and engineers. So far, 91 cents have been made available for the project.

Mr. Venugopal said Bund Road was one of GCDA’s prestigious projects and planned to complete the almost four-kilometre-long road before the end of next year. GCDA, he said, would showcase it as a model road.

“Despite being considered a critical project for easing traffic along SA Road and Vyttila Junction, it has been dragging for almost two decades now,” he said.

GCDA plans to complete the construction of the road up to K.P. Vallon Road within three months for which an estimate of about Rs.1 crore has been drawn up.

“The Bund Road will help people from Thevara reach Thykoodam on National Highway bypassing the SA Road and Vyttila,” Mr. Venugopal said.

Mr. Pillai said the road connecting Thevara and Thykoodam had many missing links in between.

“Once the road leading up to K.P. Vallon Road is completed, the work on the stretch that links Thykoodam will be taken up.”

Mr. Venugopal said GCDA would meet the expenses for the construction and compensatory land. “We, however, have requested PWD to extend assistance in surfacing the entire road,” he said.

The hitches in offering compensatory land had been holding back the project. The State government had adopted a policy whereby a landowner, for instance, surrendering 100 cents would be provided only 70 cents in return.

This caused much heartburn among landowners with small landholdings, leaving about 70 cents needed for the completion of the road out of bounds for regular traffic. However, the GCDA executive committee has put forward a proposal to compensate owners surrendering up to five cents with an equal parcel of land.

“We have forwarded the proposal to the State government and are going ahead with the work in the hope of getting a favourable decision,” Mr. Venugopal said. The initial idea to compensate the loss of houses was met with some resistance.

To overcome this, GCDA proposes to build houses with private support on the land to be given as compensation. “About four houses that would have to be pulled down will be rebuilt in this fashion” he said.

Mr. Venugopal said the soil being removed as part of the construction of the road would be used for preparing parking space in about 30 cents near the eastern entry of south railway station. The Railway has given GCDA the right to use its land in lieu of the 4.50 cents GCDA provided for setting up an escalator in the station.

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