The State government will construct flyovers at Vyttila, Palarivattom and Kundanoor under the Rs.10,000-crore ‘Speed Kerala programme’ since the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) insisted on collecting toll if it built them, Minister for Public Works V.K. Ebrahim Kunju has said.
(‘Speed’, short for Sustainable and Planned Effort to Ensure Development of Infrastructure, is a Public Works Department initiative.)
The emphasis would be on cost-effectiveness of the project as motorists would not have to pay toll, the Minister said.
Any agency that comes forward with a feasible and economical design could take up the construction works.
The work to build a four-lane flyover at Edappally, with the metro’s viaduct running through the centre was awarded to the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) because the agency readied a simple, cost-effective project.
Projects undertaken by the NHAI have a history of escalated project cost and fixing of toll in proportion to this. It did not augur well for Kerala, Mr. Kunju told The Hindu.
He said Egis India, the government-appointed consultant studying the feasibility of flyovers proposed at four junctions along the Edappally-Kundanoor NH bypass, had suggested independent flyovers at each junction to decongest the bypass since the Aroor-Edapally elevated corridor would be prohibitively costly.
Each kilometre of the 16-km-long elevated road is estimated to cost Rs.100 crore.
Referring to the proposed four-laning and airport extension of Seaport-Airport road, Mr. Kunju said once commissioned, it would throw open a corridor parallel to the NH Bypass. “Goods carriers and inter-district vehicles would then be able to take a detour from the southern end of the bypass and access Seaport-Airport road. For this, link roads from the bypass to Tripunithura will be developed. The Tripunithura bypass works will be revived prior to the upcoming Parliamentary polls,” he said.
The construction and funding of the flyovers proposed along the bypass will be discussed on Monday when Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Oscar Fernandes visits the State.
On Friday, a decision was taken to build a flyover at Vyttila after incorporating elements from proposals made by the NHAI and the KITCO. The NHAI was asked to ready a detailed project report on the same within two months.
The NHAI had suggested a six-lane flyover, while KITCO had suggested two smaller flyovers located on the junction’s northern and southern sides.
Vehicles could enter roads on the junction’s eastern and western sides through the flyovers’ underpasses.
“The advantage of KITCO’s proposal is that Kochi Metro’s alignment can easily cross the junction sans a steep climb in gradient since the flyovers will be built away from the junction. This will also enable smooth entry and exit of buses and other vehicles from the Vyttila mobility hub,” sources said.
NHAI’s proposal was seen as a costly one for which land acquisition would be time-consuming. A proposal made by District Collector Sheikh Pareeth to build a clover-leaf flyover at the junction was termed as a far-sighted one, but which involved massive land acquisition.
A senior official associated with the flyover projects said among the flyover projects on the anvil at Kundanoor Junction is one in which people who surrendered land could be rehabilitated in a building built within the loops of a miniature version of clover-leaf structure. The Kerala State Transport Project (KSTP) might be tasked with readying a detailed project report of the same.