Okays infrastructure projects worth over Rs. 856 crore

The Cabinet on Wednesday cleared infrastructure projects worth over Rs. 856 crore for the city. It will make up for the blink-and-miss allocation for Kochi in the last month’s State budget.

The flyovers at Palarivattom, Vyttila, and Kundannoor, for which the city had been clamouring for long, received a combined fund allocation of Rs. 261.80 crore.

The Ernakulam MLA, Hibi Eden, said he knew it was coming. The MLA said the elected representatives from the district didn’t make much hue and cry over the measly allocation for the city in the budget because they knew that allocations for all critical projects were in the pipeline.

“Including these projects in the budget would have entailed many formalities. Now the projects can be implemented straightaway. Hopefully, the speed with which funds have been allocated could be sustained in the implementation of the projects as well,” he said.

Sanctioning Rs. 120 crore for acquiring land for widening the stretch between Vyttilla and Pettah has been equally significant, especially with the construction of Kochi Metro Rail picking pace. And icing on the cake is that Rs. 70 crore out of this tranche would be allotted this year.

It has been a smooth sail for the proposed rail overbridge at Pachalam ever since the Chief Minister cleared the move to rope in DMRC for the project. The allocation of Rs. 52.72 crore will turbo-charge the project.

However, the single biggest contribution of the day was reserved for the proposed four-lane road connecting Chakkaraparambu with Infopark along Seaport-Airport Road. The allocation of Rs. 421.82 crore is likely to give a fillip to the project critical in improving connectivity to the IT hub. Though the land acquisition was initiated years ago, it is yet to assume meaningful proposition.

Infopark CEO Hrishikesh Nair said the proposed road was highly significant because around one lakh jobs were likely to be created in the area in near future. “We have already given a proposal to the IT Minister delineating the scope for operating mono rail and Kochi Metro along the route in the future,” he said.

The allocation of land for setting up a laboratory of the Bureau of Indian Standards is yet another achievement for the city.

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