A traffic survey for the proposed monorail project which was scheduled to begin on September 19 failed to take off due to the State-wide hartal called by the Left Democratic Front (LDF) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to protest against the petrol price hike.

The survey is a first step of the feasibility study to be carried out by the National Transportation Planning and Research Centre (NATPAC) for the monorail project, a Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS), along the Kazhakuttom-Balaramapuram corridor.

As the traffic volume had to be measured on a continuous basis for 16 hours and in view of the holiday on Wednesday, the authorities had decided to postpone the survey. Official sources said the survey would begin on September 26.

The corridor mooted for introducing the project has also been revised under pressure from various quarters. It is learnt that the feasibility study will now be carried out from Attingal to Balaramapuram instead of Kazhakuttam. The extension of the corridor is reportedly in view of the upcoming Technocity.

The NATPAC will decide on whether to have the monorail via Karyavattom, Sreekaryam, Uloor, Kesavadasapuram, Pattom, PMG, M.G. Road, Overbridge, East Fort, Attakulangara, Karamana to Balaramapuram or through Technopark-NH Bypass, Venpalavattom, Anamughom, Kumarapuram, Pottakuzhi to reach Pattom.

The traffic survey will be carried out in homogenous junctions along the corridor identified for the feasibility study. Scientists from various wings of NATPAC have been roped in for expediting the study. Once it was over, sources said the government would come up with a Detailed Project Report (DPR) and mode of implementation.

Monorail has been mooted for the capital as part of a long-term and economical solution to the transportation problems and to bring down personal mode of transport. It is estimated that 40 per cent of the present traffic can be taken off the road once monorail comes into being. It is also aimed at improving mass transportation and increasing its present modal share of about 35 per cent in Thiruvananthapuram to about 60 per cent as recommended by the Ministry of Urban Development.

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