Declogging of drains to prevent flooding of roads a priority

Kochi Metro Rail Limited will initiate measures to ensure that Kochi Metro’s civil works go on undisrupted during the impending monsoon.

Steps will also be taken to prevent water logging on roads in the Aluva-MG Road-Pettah stretch of Kochi Metro since it will throw traffic into disarray, it was decided at the KMRL’s 17th director board meeting that was held here on Friday. Speaking to media persons, Union Urban Development Secretary Sudhir Krishna said that apart from experiencing water logging at piling sites during rain, traffic is held up in narrow corridors along the metro alignment, which are yet to be widened.

The State government had recently allotted Rs 1 crore to the Kochi Corporation to declog drains in its jurisdiction, while nearby municipalities and panchayats were given a total of Rs 60 lakh. A committee headed by District Collector M.G. Rajamanickam was entrusted with supervising the task. Traffic movement can be streamlined once a Unified Metropolitan Transportation Authority (UMTA) is constituted for Kochi. The State government’s recommendation in this regard is pending before the Centre. Aimed at encouraging cheap, safe and eco-friendly modes of transport, JNNURM funds will be made available shortly for purchasing ‘water buses’ along Kochi’s backwaters, with special emphasis on West Kochi. Other modern commuting modes too will be introduced alongside metro, to augment inter-modal transport, Mr. Krishna said.

Tripunithura extension

The board also took stock of the expected Central nod for extending the metro up to SN Junction in Tripunithura, as an extension of the project’s first phase.

The directors also discussed the extension of the last date to submit tenders for procuring coaches for the metro, to June 4. A re-tender had been called since only a single bidder was in the fray when tenders were floated early this year.

The sub committee constituted to solve problems regarding earth filling at metro’s coach repair yard in Muttom will meet on Saturday. Mr Krishna also suggested proper disposal of debris from metro work sites, to prevent it from being dumped into drains. Later, he visited the metro sites to evaluate the progress of work.

Chief Secretary E.K. Bharat Bhushan and KMRL’s managing director Elias George were among those who participated in the meeting.

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