The State government is open to any agency constructing flyovers at Edappally and three other congested junctions in the Edappally-Aroor stretch in a feasible and cost-effective manner, PWD Secretary T.O. Sooraj has said.
He was speaking to The Hindu about the proposals made by the DMRC to construct a flyover at Edappally for Rs.86.70 crore and two flyovers mooted by KITCO at Vyttila.
Mr. Sooraj said the government was yet to get detailed proposals from the two agencies. “We need flyovers at minimum expense so that the four junctions are decongested and motorists need not pay toll. As for the flyover at Edappally, the Kerala Road Fund Board (KRFB) has been entrusted with the task and its funds will be utilised. We are open to the DMRC or any other competent agency undertaking the work,” Mr. Sooraj said.
The PWD has taken up the matter with the two agencies, since the flyovers mooted by the NHAI at the four junctions would cost Rs.1,450 crore and motorists along the stretch would have to pay hefty toll.
Reiterating the government’s stand on the issue, Chief Secretary Jose Cyriac said the agency that would construct the Edappally flyover would be decided following a meeting of officials of KRFB, NHAI and Kochi Metro Rail Limited. “We are awaiting the DMRC’s final design on the project,” he said.
Reacting to the State government’s willingness to set apart Rs.180 crore for the Edappally flyover, P. Rajeev, MP, said handing over the work to the DMRC could save on cost as work on the Kochi metro’s pillars could be integrated with the construction of the flyover. “As per the agency’s proposal, a four-lane flyover will cost Rs.42.10 crore. Acquiring 0.57 hectares of land would cost another Rs.44.60 crore. Flyovers are also required at other junctions in the bypass since work is under way on new shopping malls all along the stretch, including at Kundanoor.”
The NHAI’s six-lane flyover at Edappally is expected to cost Rs.700 crore, of which Rs.500 crore is for acquiring land.
Mr. Rajeev demanded the setting up of a temporary bridge across the canal at Edappally Junction as vehicles at present jostle for space on the existing narrow bridge. “This will decongest the junction until the flyover is ready.”
Sources in the DMRC spoke of how the agency’s proposal has mooted a flyover and metro pillars on a single foundation at Edappally, thus making it cost effective. “For just over Rs.180 crore (that the government is willing to spare for the Edappally flyover), we can build flyovers at Edappally and Vyttila.
“Men, machinery and other materials can be shared if work on the flyovers at the two junctions is awarded to a single agency, thus reducing the cost.”
Flyovers at Vyttila
The sources termed KITCO’s proposal to construct two flyovers — one each on the northern and southern sides of Vyttila Junction, as best suited for the metro’s alignment and also to decongest the junction.
“The advantage is that the metro alignment can cross the junction at the regular height. A flyover that criss-crosses the junction will result in the alignment passing over it, for which the gradient will be steep on either side.”