KOCHI: The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation might change the alignment for Kochi’s proposed elevated metro rail system, considering the possibility of expanding the network up to the international airport.
Initially, the elevated rails were to connect Pulinchuvadu Junction with the railway goods yard, where a station had been planned. Aimed at enabling connectivity with the airport, the DMRC is examining the possibility of shifting the alignment from Pulinchuvadu to the Aluva private bus stand, through the national highway. “This has lessened the need for acquiring around a hectare of land, thus bringing relief to 23 families whose houses would be spared,” said sources in the Revenue Department.
The airport authorities had written to the DMRC and the State Government, seeking an extension of the rails up to the airport from Aluva. This would mean adding another 8 km to the existing 25-km-long alignment proposed between Aluva and Pettah. Airline passengers, who now take over an hour to reach the airport from the city through the congested highway, would thus be able to reach the destination comfortably within a few minutes. Ultimately, this would reduce the number of cars and autorickshaws that carry passengers to the airport along the busy NH 47.
In addition, the DMRC has demanded more land in Muttom for its yard. Thus, the metro rail project would involve a total land acquisition of 24 hectares of private land and 10 hectares government land.
Meanwhile, the National Highway Authority of India’s delay in finalising the plan for the flyover at Vytilla and at Edapally has forced the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation to put on hold the decision to acquire land for metro rail station at the junctions. “We have requested the NHAI to build an underpass in the north-south direction (at Vytilla) so that the metro rail can easily cross the junction. It would require just around 300 to 400 metres of space. The junction now has around 500 metres of free space, up to the railway overbridge,” the sources said.
The DMRC’s groundwork for the metro rail project is reportedly encountering delays because of inadequate cooperation from the NHAI, the PWD and other civic agencies. The KSEB is yet to remove street lights from central medians and shift them to the sides of the road, so that the rail’s alignment can pass through the median.