North overbridge reconstruction was completed without affecting the road traffic even for a single day, says E. Sreedharan.

Principal Advisor to Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) E. Sreedharan has said that the remaining work on the pillars and viaduct for Kochi Metro Rail passing along the newly reconstructed North road overbridge (ROB) would be completed within four months without disrupting the traffic.

He was delivering the welcome address at a function held to mark the opening of the ROB here on Sunday. Mr. Sreedharan urged the State government to initiate steps to get half of the Rs.50 crore spent on the reconstruction of the ROB from the railway.

He said the reconstruction was completed without affecting the road traffic even for a single day or disrupting the train services passing under the bridge for even a few minutes. The space alongside the Metro pillars on the overbridge has been beautified . Mr. Sreedharan urged the Corporation to ensure that it is preserved and made a suggestion to explore the possibility of getting a corporate to adopt it.

Challenges

He recollected that the reconstruction of the ROB posed several challenges like shifting of vendors under the bridge and utilities and diversion of traffic. The five preparatory works undertaken would help save a year in the implementation period of Kochi Metro Rail, Mr. Sreedharan said.

He said that initially Kochi Metro was aligned 20 metres north of the ROB but was later dropped for reconstruction of the bridge integrated with metro structure to avoid large scale acquisition and demolition costing about Rs. 65 crore.

City within the city

Elias George, managing director, Kochi Metro Rail Limited, said 18 acres made available at Kakkanad in connection with Kochi Metro would be developed as a city within the city with the expertise of top architects of the country. Besides being a money spinner that would help subsidise the Metro Rail tickets it would become a showpiece of the city. Mr. George emphasised the need for undertaking a slew of measures on a mission mode in the next few years so that the full advantages of Kochi Metro could be leveraged by the time it was completed.

“Roads and bridges alone would not do but the need is to restructure the entire traffic system, including the routes and schedules of private buses, KSRTC, and boat services. The scope of common ticket for all modes of transport including Kochi Metro should be explored,” he said. The Union government has agreed to fund, under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission, a proposal for having a fleet of boats not just as a feeder service for Kochi Metro but as part of a larger plan to rejuvenate the water transport in the city. A proposal of Rs.50 crore has been submitted in this regard.

Mr. George requested the Transport Minister to give more funds to expand roads and junctions as part of Kochi Metro Rail. The widened Banerjee Road would be ready by March while the widening of the railway station road and MG Road would progress alongside the work of Metro viaducts, he said.

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