Work on 8-km stretch from Karyavattom for elevated MRTS

The government has in principle decided to limit the right of way of the 8-km Karyavattom-Kesavadasapuram stretch of NH-66 to 24 metres while developing it for the elevated MRTS.

The widening of the stretch is the most crucial factor in the completion of the proposed 22.2-km monorail, the elevated rail-based MRTS, from Technocity to Karamana in the capital. At present, the 8-km stretch, which falls under the Route 2 section of the monorail, traversing through Sreekaryam and Ulloor, has a width of 10 metres. The National Transportation Planning and Research Centre (Natpac), which prepared the Detailed Project Report (DPR) for the widening, mooted a width of 30 metres for the stretch taking into account future needs.

Two-track beams on circular pillars have to be erected on the medians for the monorail. Sources told The Hindu that the government decided to widen the stretch by 24 metres in view of the opposition from landowners. However, sources said, the junctions at Sreekaryam and Ulloor would be widened by 29 metres as flyovers had been mooted there.

Transport planners said that by succumbing to pressure from the landowners on the stretch the authorities were turning a blind eye to the future development needs. The stretch should have a right of way of 30 metres to cater to increasing traffic volume.

An official announcement on the 24-metre widening is expected soon. Principal Adviser, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, E. Sreedharan has made it clear that monorail civil works can commence only after the widening as pillars for the monorail have to be erected.

The Route 2 section of the monorail would take five years for completion while the Route 1 section from Technocity to Karyavattom can be commissioned in 30 months once the contractor is finalised.

The Route 3 section of 8 km from Kesavadasapuram to Karamana can be commissioned only along with Route 2. The DMRC has suggested that widening of the Karyavattom-Kesavadasapuram stretch should be handed over to a special agency such as the Roads and Bridges Development Corporation Kerala (RBDCK).

As the stretch comes under the NH-66, sources said the widening would have to be executed by the NH wing. The DMRC, the general consultant for monorail, had already floated the global tenders for the project.

The construction of flyovers at the congested Sreekaryam, Ulloor, Pattom and Plamoodu junctions is other crucial factor. The DMRC has informed the government that construction of these flyovers should be taken up side by side as it would be difficult to build them once the monorail comes up.

Plans have been prepared and submitted to the State for the flyovers, estimated to cost Rs.73 crore.