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SPV mooted for monorail project

Biju Govind
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23-km corridor from medical college

Formation of a special purpose vehicle (SPV) with public-private participation is one of the best possible ways to implement a monorail project in the city, says the report of a feasibility study for Mass Transport System for Kozhikode done by the Bangalore-based Wilbur Smith Associates.

The State government can set up the SPV to finance and operate the multi-crore monorail between the Government Medical College and Ramanattukara, it adds.

The report is now under the active consideration of the government. Last week, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy announced that the government would take steps to implement the project, giving a glimmer of hope for a solution to the vexing transportation problem in the city.

The city accounts for 40 per cent of the district's urban population, which is experiencing a rapid growth. The proposal for a monorail system comes in the wake of demands for an improved public transport system.

Based on the financial analysis and funding options, the consultant identified the year-wise investments requirement for the project from 2011 to 2014. The estimated cost for 2011-12 is Rs.276.28 crore; 2012-13: Rs.276.28 crore; and 2013-14: Rs.368.37 crore. The total cost is pegged at Rs.920.93 crore and the escalated completion cost at Rs.1,021.13 crore.

The consultant studied various technically and financially viable corridors for implementing the project. Considering the heavy capital investment, it suggested that a monorail be established from the medical college to Ramanattukara on a 23-km route and a dedicated bus corridor to the Karipur airport from the Mofussil bus terminal.

The corridor from Medical College to Meenchanda will be the first phase and Meenchanda to Ramanattukara the second phase.

The other options included a 35-km monorail corridor from the medical college to the airport.

The proposed corridor passes through major areas of the city, such as Mavoor Road, Mananchira, Palayam, and Kallai, and also gives access to the Mofussil bus station and the railway station. Terminal stations have been proposed in the medical college area and Meenchanda and 14 intermediate stations.

The consultants have analysed two types of rail-road intersection cross-sections for the monorail corridor. One of them is fitting the monorail into the existing roads with minimal land acquisition at curves and at station locations. “It was desirable to develop the monorail system with greatest emphasis on reduced land acquisition to avoid protests from the public. The estimated social cost for this option is about Rs.47 crore,” the report says.

The other option — a monorail system at centre with a 7.5-m carriageway on each side and 2-m-wide footpath-cum-drain and one-metre utility services for the entire corridor from Medical College to Meenchanda — was thus rejected.

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