List of roads, bridges and waterways to be developed being readied
Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) is giving finishing touches to an approximately Rs. 350-crore project to upgrade the city’s road infrastructure and to boost waterway transport.
The feasibility report will be finalised within a fortnight and handed over to the State Government for approval. “A list of road, bridge and waterway projects will be finalised in a week. Prominent among the roads being considered for widening and development include Chilavannur Bund Road of GCDA, Thammanam-Pullepady Road and Goshree-Mamangalam Road of Kochi Corporation. MG Road can be decongested if junctions and link roads to Foreshore Road are widened,” KMRL sources said.
The funds will be sourced from Rs. 1,225 crore that was set apart in the State budget for ‘major infrastructure development projects’. “The aim is to upgrade transportation infrastructure in Kochi by 2016, when metro rail is expected to be commissioned,” they said.
KMRL’s MD Elias George had stated that the agency would spearhead plans to give an image makeover for Kochi.
“We will coordinate the projects, while agencies like RBDCK can implement them,” Mr. George said.
Under the latest proposal, select roads and junctions along busy roads will be developed or widened, footpaths built wherever necessary and bridges constructed on a priority basis. At many junctions, unscientifically located traffic police cabins and encroachers hamper free movement of vehicles. The cabins will be relocated and encroachments removed. Bridges that are overdue at Vaduthala and Atlantis might find place in the list of projects.
“Steps will be taken to widen junctions since Kochi has ill-planned and notoriously narrow junctions where free-left turns are non-existent, unlike in Thiruvananthapuram. Many junctions in Thiruvananthapuram also have big roundabouts, something which is absent in Kochi,” sources said.