The second phase of developing the Airport-Seaport Road – the work to build a four-lane road from Kalamassery HMT Junction to the international airport, began on Monday.
The project along the 15-km-stretch is expected to be completed in four years' time by the Roads and Bridges Development Corporation of Kerala (RBDCK). The Minister for Public Works V. K. Ibrahim Kunju inaugurated the survey for the extension work on Monday.
The survey will initially be done up to the Naval Armament Depot and this would be completed in 10 days. A total of 13.65 hectares of land is required for this.
The total project cost for the airport extension is Rs. 662 crore, including land acquisition.
“It was estimated to cost Rs 140 crore 10 years ago. The inordinate delay has increased the cost by Rs 552 crore,” Mr. Kunju said. Except for a few modifications of the proposed alignment near the airport's golf course, there will not be any change in the project.
Bridges would be built at Thottumugham Mahilalaya Junction and Turuth, in two years' time. The Government has allotted Rs. 45 crore for the survey and first phase of road development. Mr. Kunju said that ‘balloon development' was once planned from Karingachira to the airport (to raise funds for the road's development). This has been temporarily put on hold since more land would have to be acquired.
The existing stretch from Karingachira to Kalamassery would be widened into four-lane after the Kalamassery-Airport stretch is ready. Land acquisition for this would be minimal, since land is available in most places.
The RBDCK would also initiate steps to straighten the accident-prone Poojari Valavu and 55 cents would have to be acquired for this.
A compensation of Rs 10.50 lakh per cent has been fixed for plots on the road side. Over a dozen people died at the sharp curve, mostly after drivers lost control of their vehicles.