The construction of the Edappally flyover will most likely be handed over to the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), considering its track record of completing projects on time in a cost-effective manner.
It is reliably learnt that the State Cabinet would waive the tender process and award the work to the agency within a few days. “The agency’s four-lane flyover is expected to cost Rs 86.70 crore, while the cost of a six-lane flyover proposed by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) is over Rs.700 crore. This has turned the tide in DMRC’s favour,” sources in the State government said.
As per the agency’s proposal, a four-lane flyover would cost Rs 42.10 crore and acquiring 0.57 hectares of land another Rs.44.60 crore.
A formal decision on the matter will be taken “shortly”, said the managing director of Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) Elias George. “It will be convenient if the DMRC builds the structure since the agency intends to integrate the metro pillars within the flyover,” he said.
On the question of the Rs.180 crore projected by the State government as the construction and land acquisition cost for the Edappally flyover (as compared to the DMRC’s estimated Rs.86.70 crore), PWD Secretary T.O. Sooraj said that Rs.180 crore was a rough estimate submitted by Egis India (the government-appointed consultant studying the feasibility of flyovers proposed at four junctions along the Edappally-Kundanoor NH bypass).
“Based on the estimate, we sought funds and the government cited the availability of Rs 180 crore from the Kerala Road Fund Board. On its part, the DMRC must submit a formal proposal, mentioning the project cost and other pertinent details. This will enable the Cabinet to take a decision.”
On long-pending flyovers at Palarivattom, Vyttila and Kundanoor junctions, Mr Sooraj said that a flyover at Edappally alone will not decongest the NH bypass. “Flyovers must be built at the four extremely congested junctions at the earliest, for which a total of around Rs.350 crore is required.”
Responding to the DMRC’s willingness to construct flyovers at Edappally and Vyttila using the Rs.180 crore earmarked for Edappally, he said that this can be looked into.
Sources in the DMRC termed the proposal by Kerala Industrial and Technical Consultancy Organisation (KITCO) to construct two flyovers – one each on the northern and southern sides of Vyttila Junction, as best suited for the metro’s alignment and to decongest the junction. “This will enable Kochi metro’s alignment to cross the junction at the regular height, as compared to the steep gradient necessary if a flyover is built across the junction.” KITCO has estimated around Rs 80 crore as the total cost for the twin flyovers at Vyttila.
No land acquisition
Contrary to the NHAI’s flyover proposal at Vyttila, which involves major land acquisition, KITCO’s project does not require the acquisition of even a cent of land. “The sole alteration required would be the addition of service roads to the NH Bypass, to ensure optimal use of space. Our design also rules out the need for traffic signals and thereby saves time for motorists,” said KITCO’s managing director Cyriac Davis.
As per the agency’s design, a flyover will be built on the junction’s northern side by extending the existing overbridge by around 200 metres towards the junction. Vehicles proceeding from SA Road towards Tripunithura will be able to cross over to the Tripunithura road by passing through an underpass beneath the bridge. Similarly, vehicles in the opposite direction will be able to cross the junction through an underpass proposed beneath the flyover on the junction’s southern side.