The Thammanam-Pullepady road development project should be taken up by the State government as part of the preparatory works of Kochi metro rail project, the Kochi Corporation has demanded.

A resolution to this effect was moved by Kochi Mayor Tony Chammany in the corporation council meeting on Tuesday. Opposition councillors walked out of the meeting in protest against the failure of the civic administration in taking forward the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) projects.

If the road project was not implemented before work on M.G. Road and other city centres began, it would paralyse vehicular movement in the city, Mr. Chammany said.

It was also decided at the council meeting that the city would approach the Mission for additional funds for restoration of water bodies and formation of a Special Purpose Vehicle for managing the water transport sector. The Cities Development Initiative Asia was working on a detailed project report for the water transport sector of the city which could also be used for obtaining Mission support, he said.

Taking part in the debate, the Opposition councillors criticised the civic administrators for failing to take the initiative to take the Mission projects forward.

Quoting media reports, CPI (M) councillors K.J. Jacob, M. Anilkumar, N.A. Shafeeq, M.B. Maheshkumar, K.V. Manoj and CPI councillor C.A. Shakkeer said the corporation had even failed to review the projects initiated in the city earlier. The inactive administration had cheated the people of Kochi, they alleged.

T.J. Vinod, chairman of the Development Standing Committee of the corporation, said many of the projects sanctioned for Kochi could not be taken forward for want of money for land acquisition.

Going by the fair value of the land fixed by the government, it would require at least Rs.284 crore for acquiring land for Sahodaran Ayyapan and Thammanam-Pullepady road projects, Atlantis and Pachalam rail overbridges and the sewerage treatment project. K.J. Sohan, chairman of Town Planning Standing Committee, said many unfeasible guidelines of the Mission had resulted in cost overrun. The Mission authorities have revised the project guidelines after considering the feedbacks, he said.

The Mayor announced that a detailed review of the Mission projects would be held shortly.

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