‘Cabinet decision in this regard would be made shortly’

The inaugural function of the newly reconstructed North road overbridge turned out to be an impromptu meeting over the proposed overbridge at Pachalam and by the end of it Chief Minister Oommen Chandy declared that the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) would be entrusted with its construction.

In his inaugural address, Mr. Chandy said the work would be assigned to DMRC as part of the Kochi Metro Rail project. A Cabinet decision in this regard would be made shortly, he said.

The Chief Minister wondered whether there was any further need for a meeting, scheduled for January 4, to take a decision on the issue. The only question was whether DMRC was willing to take up the work and E. Sreedharan, Principal Advisor to DMRC, confirmed it, Mr. Chandy said.

Earlier, the ministers and people’s representatives who spoke at the function had requested the Chief Minister to take a positive decision on giving the Pachalam overbridge work to DMRC.

Transport Minister Aryadan Mohammed said the bridge would become a reality within five to eight months if DMRC was roped in. “PWD Minister V.K. Ibrahim Kunju may be all too willing to take up the work considering that he is from the district. But in that case the work would take almost two years to complete thanks to the formalities involved and by that time the term of the government would be over,”he said. Mr. Mohammed, however, left the ball in the Chief Minister’s court stating that it was his prerogative to take a decision on bringing in DMRC.

Initial report given

Union Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution K.V. Thomas said Mr. Sreedharan had given an initial report to construct the bridge viably and with minimal land acquisition and requested the Chief Minister to give nod to the proposal.

Hibi Eden, MLA, said the proposed ROB was vital to resolve the traffic problems of the residents of Pachalam, Vaduthala and Chittoor.

Mr. Sreedharan on Saturday said that DMRC could complete the work of the bridge within six months. DMRC proposes to limit the width of the ROB to 10 meters, in which case land acquisition can be restricted to one acre instead of nine acres as in the original proposal. A rough estimate puts the cost of completing the project to about Rs.30 crore. The idea is to have a ROB with two-lane carriageway with one-and-a-half-metre-wide footpath.

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