Minister promises project will be ready in 18 months; twin flyovers mooted to decongest Kalamassery

Work has finally begun on a pair of bridges, flyover, walkway and other amenities at Edappally, with Minister for Public Works V.K. Ebrahim Kunju inaugurating infrastructure projects worth Rs 140 crore at the junction on Thursday.

He promised that the bridge would be ready by April 2015. The cry for a flyover at the narrow and ill-planned junction where NH 47 and NH 17 meet reached its peak after traffic snarls worsened following the opening of Lulu Mall early this year.

Though the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) readied a project report and awarded the work to L and T (the contractor for Kochi Metro’s Aluva-international stadium reach), work did not begin because of inordinate delay in acquiring land.

A pair of two-lane bridges on either side of the existing bridge will require 175 cents of land, with a four-lane flyover having 450-metre length and a metro viaduct passing through its centre forming part of the structure. The cost of the four-lane flyover is estimated at Rs. 27 crore. P.A. Hashim, the PWD’s nodal officer for flyovers that have been proposed at five junctions on NH 47 that passes through Kochi, said that all structures follow a design based on which they can be further widened at a later stage.

Priority for bridges

While expressing concern at the delay in acquiring 175 cents of land for the projects conceived to decongest the junction, DMRC sources said that priority would be given to constructing bridges parallel to the existing one. “This will help divert traffic when piling commences for the flyover over NH 47 (in the east-west direction).”

Kerala Road Fund Board and Kochi Metro Rail Limited pooled in Rs 50 crore each, while State government’s share that will be used for land acquisition is Rs 40 crore. Mr. Ebrahim Kunju said that work on Palarivattom, Vyttila, Kundanoor and Kalamassery flyovers would begin well before March next.

Next in line is the Palarivattom flyover, for which the Roads and Bridges Development Corporation of Kerala (RBDCK) is expected to commence work in January. Subsequently, the PWD will begin work on a flyover at Vyttila, the biggest and most congested junction in Kerala. There were allegations that the Edappally flyover was given priority over the one proposed at Vyttila.

The PWD is in the process of finalising an innovative design for the Kundanoor flyover, in which people who surrender land will be rehabilitated in high-rise structures built within the flyover.

A different type of innovation has been mooted to decongest Kalamassery.

“A two-lane flyover has been mooted at Kalamassery so that Aluva-bound vehicles can bypass the junction. A two-lane flyover is also envisaged at the adjacent HMT Junction for Edappally-bound vehicles,” Mr. Hashim said. The estimated cost of the twin flyovers, including land acquisition is put at Rs 63 crore.

A flyover is proposed at the HMT Junction since vehicles dangerously criss-cross each other here, often leading to accidents.

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