The 9.35-km Kazhakuttam-Kesavadasapuram stretch of the National Highway, a “most crucial” factor for the completion of the proposed 22.2-km monorail from Technocity to Karamana, will be widened into a four-lane carriageway at a cost of Rs.550 crore.

The four-lane road will be 24 metres wide with a two-metre median in the centre to accommodate the pillars of the monorail. The stretch will have a 3.5-metre service road on both sides.

High-level meet

The decision to widen the stretch was taken at a high-level meeting chaired by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy in the Secretariat on Wednesday.

The meeting decided to reduce the width of the road from 30 metres, as suggested by the National Transportation Planning and Research Centre (Natpac) that prepared the blueprint and estimate, to 24 metres to limit land acquisition.

Cost comes down

Official sources told The Hindu that by reducing the width of the road to 24 metres, the cost of road widening had come down from Rs.728 crore to Rs.550 crore. Thirteen acres of land had also been spared.

Natpac had estimated that Rs.576 crore was needed for land acquisition and Rs.152 crore for four-laning.

The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), the general consultant of the monorail project, had been insisting that Route 2 section (Kazhakuttam-Kesavadasapuram) be widened from the existing 11 metres to at least 22 metres to accommodate the two-track beams on circular pillars to be erected on the medians.

The DMRC has made it clear that civil works can commence only after the road widening as pillars for the monorail have to be erected.

Route 2 section will take five years for completion while the Route 1 section from Technocity to Kariavattom can be commissioned in 30 months after the turnkey contractor is finalised. The Route 3 section of 8 km from Kesavadasapuram to Karamana can be commissioned only along with Route 2.

Flyover projects

The other crucial factor for the project is flyovers at Sreekaryam, Ulloor, Pattom, and Plamoodu junctions. Plans have been submitted to the State for the flyovers, estimated to cost Rs.73 crore.