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Updated: December 22, 2013 16:16 IST

Taking Metro to Kakkanad through access-controlled road

John L. Paul
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The proposed Chakkaraparambu-Infopark access-controlled road would considerably enhance east-west connectivity in the city.

It will also throw open a wide corridor through which Kochi Metro could be linked to Kakkanad. The Roads and Bridges Development Corporation of Kerala (RBDCK) is awaiting State Government’s administrative sanction by March 2014 for the 4-km-long road project. “The road will have a 4.5 metre-wide median like in NH Bypass, through which the metro can be taken to Seaport-Airport Road and up to Infopark sans land acquisition,” a senior official in the agency said.

Kochi Metro sources said taking the metro through the road to Kakkanad in metro’s phase two would be worth examining if the road project is completed in a time-bound manner, say by 2016.

“A major advantage would be the availability of a wide, highway-like road unlike the narrow Palarivattom-Kakkanad Road. On the flip side, there is the possibility of lower passenger patronage as compared to the other road which buzzes with activity. We would discuss the matter with RBDCK so that there is clarity on the issue,” they said. Still, the potential to route metro from Palarivattom up to Chakkaraparambu – a distance of a km, and later to Kakkanad/Infopark, would enable easier land acquisition for the road project since most land owners would prefer a metro link in their vicinity. It would also hasten metro’s Kakkanad extension since widening narrow portions of Palarivattom-Kakkanad Road might take time.

RITES is expected to submit its feasibility study on metro’s Palarivattom-Kakkanad link to Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) in January.

Cost factor

As per RBDCK’s proposal, the new road will begin from a vacant plot located south of Holiday Inn at Chakkaraparambu Junction and end at the entry point of Infopark. The project has been included in PWD’s SPEED-Kerala programme and Kerala Road Fund Board is expected to provide funds for the Rs. 413 crore project. Land acquisition will cost Rs.270 crore, while the road is expected to cost Rs.68 crore. Two major and three minor bridges would cost Rs.62 crore. “The road will have a 30 metre width for 1.5-kms from Chakkaraparambu up to Vennala-Eroor Road, while the rest of the alignment will have 45-metre width since most of the area is now paddy fields. The access controlled road will have service road on either side,” sources said.

Land acquisition

One hundred and twenty buildings – mostly houses and sheds will be demolished to make way for the road, while the rest is vacant land and paddy fields. The DPR and a tentative alignment are ready. Land owners with small holdings will be given three cents of land, market rate as compensation and the cost of structure that will be taken over. A similar package will be given to those who surrender bigger plots.

Western link

Once ready, the road will be linked with M G Road-Thammanam-Pullepady Road on the western side of NH Bypass. “This will provide a new east-west corridor, linking Infopark with M G Road,” RBDCK officials said. The road project was conceived over a decade ago, but was held up owing to opposition from land owners, most of whom wanted compensation at market rate. Sources said the road was expected to be ready on par with Eroor overbridge, for which RBDCK is awaiting State’s administrative sanction.

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