It connects two NHs and is on metro route

The narrow and congested Vytilla-Pettah road would be widened into a four-lane road having a width of 30 metres.

This was decided at a meeting held here on Thursday at the Kochi Metro Rail Limited's (KMRL) office. “The road needs this much width since it connects two major highways – the NH 47 (passing through Vytilla) and the NH 49 (passing through Pettah). The road has the status of a State highway which has a specified width of 30 metres, as compared to 45 metres fixed for NHs in the State,” said Tom Jose, the KMRL's MD.

Under the proposed plan, the PWD would widen the road's carriageway into 15 metres, with each lane having a width of 3.75 metres. The road shoulder and parking area on each side would have a three-metre width. Two metres on either side will be used for laying utilities like pipelines and cables, while there would be one-metre-wide drains on each side. The median would be 3 metres wide since the metro-rail pillars would have a total width of 2.65 metres.

Since 17 plot owners have opposed land acquisition, the District Collector would hold a meeting on November 15. A few of them had obstructed a team of officials who visited the area on Wednesday to take measurements of the land to be acquired, Mr. Jose said.

On comparisons made with the 22-metre SA Road, he said that though the road is technically four-lane, there is no parking area, drain and space for utilities. Motorists are thus unable to utilize the four-lane width.

On the metro-rail station proposed at the wholesale fish market in Champakkara, he said that another area is being identified to shift the traders. The two dedicated land acquisition units for the Kochi metro would soon be ready.

A discussion of stakeholders would be held to finalise the alignment for the much-delayed flyovers proposed by the NHAI at the extremely-congested Vytilla and Edapally junctions.

On the formal nod from the Union Cabinet for the Kochi metro-rail, Mr. Jose said that the Urban Development Ministry has assured full support for the project. The departments concerned are preparing Cabinet notes that would be forwarded to the Union Cabinet. The Planning and Investment Board (PIB) chaired by the Union Finance Ministry's Expenditure Secretary would discuss the contents of the Cabinet notes. The KMRL has been sending replies to questions posed to it by Central departments on aspects like the project's feasibility, passenger patronage, progress of preliminary works.

Minister's statement

Officials of the KMRL and other agencies engaged in the metro-rail project have welcomed the statement by Union Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath on Thursday that the Centre would decide on the project in another two weeks.

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