Minister for Public Works V.K. Ebrahim Kunju said here on Thursday that toll will be collected once the Kalamassery-Vallarpadam container terminal road is widened into a four-lane one by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI).
The toll will continue forever, as is the procedure for all NHAI projects. Toll will also be collected for the Edappally overbridge, even though it was built using the funds of the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways and the Railways. However, no toll would be collected for projects that cost less than Rs.5 crore.
Replying to questions posed by media persons about the NHAI not readying service roads and other mandatory infrastructure on the Edapally-Mannuthy stretch of NH 47 before collecting toll, he said that the detailed project report for the four-lane the highway was prepared eight years ago. The traffic pattern and requirements have changed now and this is being taken care of.
On the progress of works to resurface 13 important roads in Kochi city, he said that the PWD, which handed over the works to the Kerala State Construction Corporation, will complete the works before the monsoons. Fifty per cent of the works is over.
Mr. Kunju said that the land acquisition process has begun for the phase two of development works of the Seaport-Airport Road. “The accident-prone Poojari Curve on the stretch would be remodelled at a cost of Rs.5 crore,” he said.
The PWD (NH), meanwhile, is collecting toll from motorists on the severely-potholed Kundanoor-Thevara and the adjacent Alexander Parambithara bridges in the city.
The two bridges have been in this condition for well over four years, causing accidents and providing a back-breaking ride to motorists.
The 1.80-km-long Kundanoor bridge, which is used daily by thousands of commuters to West Kochi and Wellington Island and also container lorries, is also pothole-ridden.
Admitting that this is one among the worst-maintained bridges in the State, an official of the agency said that works totalling Rs.5.20 crore would be carried out to resurface the bridge and to replace the damaged expansion joints. “The work would begin in a month and the complete set of works would be over in 11 months.”