In a couple of months, the space under the Koyambedu flyover will present a verdant lung space to the city.
The highways department has begun work to landscape the 20,000 sq. m. space at a cost of Rs. 1.10 crore.
Already, parts of the grade separator including inner walls of the arms and pillars have been whitewashed and graffiti removed. Workers are now building a compound wall over which a grille would be fixed to prevent the public from entering.
“At present, the space is used by bullock cart owners to park their carts and tie up the bullocks. Vans and buses too are parked there during lean hours. We want to prevent this,” said a highways department official.
The work is expected to be completed in two months’ time. Mounds of earth have been dumped at the site to form landscaping features for grass. The department will soon call for tenders for installation of signboards and coloured lights, and painting to highlight the features of the grade separator. The footpath around the grade separator will also be repaired.
The contractor will be expected to maintain the landscaping for a year. Sprinklers apart, borewells have been sunk to enable watering of the plants.
According to an official, similar works are to be carried out under the Padi and Kathipara grade separators too. There is a 15,000 sq. m. space at Padi where works worth Rs. 1 crore will be taken up. At Kathipara, Metro Rail has sought time up to July to vacate the space under the grade separator. Landscaping work worth Rs. 1.50 crore on the 40,000 sq. m. area will be taken up after that.
All three facilities were handed over to the State highways department by the National Highways Authority of India for maintenance.