Edappally-Aluva stretch of NH 47 will be wider by 5m once Metro rolls out.
The district administration will hand over land for eight metro stations to Kochi Metro Rail Limited within a month. The stations for which land will be handed over are Cochin University of Science and Technology, Muttam, Ambattukkavu, Edappally High School, Kaloor, Elamkulam, Thykoodam and Pettah, said a press release here.
The district administration hopes to acquire land for stations at Pathadippalam, Aluva Bypass, Kampanippadi, Apollo Tyres, Edappally Junction, Pulinchode, Palarivattam, Kaloor stadium, Madhava Pharmacy and Maharaja’s College within four months.
The Edappally-Aluva stretch of NH 47 will also be wider by five metres once Kochi Metro is commissioned. Though this falls short of the seven-metre width required for a two-lane road, the addition of 2.50 metres on either side will decongest the busy stretch in the highway.
Bicycles and slow-moving vehicles can use the additional space, while this space will help park buses away from the highway at bus stops.
Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) and National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) are engaged in discussions on increasing the width of narrow portions of the highway. This is to ensure four-lane traffic when eight metres of the road and the median will be barricaded for constructing the metro pillars. Once the three-metre-wide metro pillars and the viaduct above is ready, the barricades will be dismantled and the balance five metres opened to traffic.
NHAI’s Project Director Ramanathan said a further round of discussions would be held with KMRL officials to ascertain the extent of land that has to be acquired to widen the highway. “An agreement will be reached only after this,” he said.
KMRL’s MD Elias George said land acquisition would be nominal since plenty of government land was available on either side of the stretch. “A few encroachments will be removed. Care will be taken to ensure free movement of pedestrians.”
Sources associated with the project said that land would be acquired in the Aluva-Pulinchodu portion and near Nippon Toyota at Kalamassery to widen narrow portions. The survey is over and land acquisition will begin soon.
To a question on widening narrow portions in the Edappally-Pettah stretch of the metro’s alignment, they said that footpaths might have to be acquired in some places and added to the road’s width in extreme cases.
Reacting to the allegation that a shopping mall has constructed a wall on land earmarked for constructing stairs for a metro station, Mr Elias George said the metro rail project was top priority for the government and nothing would come in the way of implementing it. It is reliably learnt that the wall will be dismantled once the road-widening work begins.