The Kochi Metro has quickened the pace of the city’s much-needed makeover.

Crucial overbridges and road corridors in the city would have been either held up for another decade or even dropped had it not been for the metro, sources associated with the rail project said.

As part of the metro’s preparatory works the A.L. Jacob overbridge was opened recently. The overbridge’s commissioning has given a fillip to east-west connectivity in the city. The expected widening of North overbridge in a month and four-laning of Town Hall-Kacheripady road by early 2014 will further step up connectivity.

Elias George, Managing Director, Kochi Metro Rail Limited, said people’s support for the project could be used to further improve Kochi’s road and public transport infrastructure.

“DMRC’s Principal Advisor E. Sreedharan too enjoys enormous goodwill; hence opposition to land acquisition is minimal,” he said.

Mr. George said KMRL, DMRC and civic agencies could join hands to remove bottlenecks and augment infrastructure in the city. “This can be done in tune with metro’s commissioning in another two and a half years.”

A few months ago, KMRL’s Director Board mooted a Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) around the 25-km metro corridor. The project is aimed at making Kochi Metro a powerful lever or a catalyst to give a complete makeover for the city.

Approval for UMTA

Referring to the Unified Metropolitan Transport Authority (UMTA), of which he is chairman, Mr. George said the aim was to integrate bus, train and boat services in the city. “We will shortly give a draft of the UMTA legislation to the State government for approval,” he said.

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