State yet to give sanction to expand busy Vyttila-Pettah road

The State government has not accorded administrative sanction to widen the narrow and congested Vyttila-Pettah Road – the sole two-lane road in the alignment of the Kochi Metro.

The delay might even affect the metro’s civil works, as the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) will finalise the contractor for building the pillars and viaduct by April end. The work is expected to begin by May. As per DMRC’s plan, civil works will be undertaken simultaneously at different points along the Aluva-MG Road-Pettah alignment, to save time and prevent traffic congestion.

“Any delay in widening the road will hamper the metro’s civil works,” said sources in the DMRC.

The proposal to widen the 4-km-long corridor was put forward over a decade ago. The PWD (Roads wing) chalked out a detailed plan about two years ago to widen the stretch into a 30-metre-wide one. However, the width was reduced to 26 metres following opposition to acquire the required land at three points along the stretch.

Parking curbs

“This means that parking will have to be banned at the 26-metre wide portions, to pave the way for smooth commuting. Bus bays and refuge lanes (the dedicated lane for vehicles taking U-turn at medians) will be permitted only at 30-metre-wide portions,” said a PWD official.

Under the proposed plan, the PWD would widen the road’s carriageway to 15 metres, with each lane having a width of 3.75 metres. The road shoulder cum parking area on each side would have a three-metre width. The footpaths will be three metres wide on either side and beneath it pipelines, drains, and cables will be laid. The median would be three metres wide, over which the metro’s two-metre-wide pillars will be built.

As the Rs.20 crore sanctioned by the government to acquire land is insufficient, speedy steps are needed to acquire land at places where landowners are willing to surrender land.

Experts had cited the need for a 30-metre-wide road since the road connects two major highways – the NH 47 that passes through Vyttila and the NH 49 that passes through Pettah. Experts expressed the need to widen the bell mouth on Vyttila Junction’s eastern side to over 30 metres, since motorists in the Pettah-Vyttila stretch have to wait for numerous signal changes to cross the road.

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