Omission of key road projects in budget draws flak

The Chakkaraparambu-Seaport Airport Road corridor was slated to take off from the Palarivattom-Vyttila NH Bypass.   | Photo Credit: Thulasi Kakkat

The omission of a couple of overdue but futuristic road projects in Friday’s State Budget has invited flak from residents’ associations and people’s representatives.

Prominent among them was the access-controlled four-lane stretch proposed between Chakkaraparambu and Seaport-Airport Road by RBDCK in 2013, as an eastward extension of M.G. Road-Thammanam-Pullepady-Chakkaraparambu Road. A year later, the Kerala State Construction Corporation (KSCC) was entrusted with the task of executing the 4-km road project.

The much-awaited road corridor would have considerably decongested the city by augmenting east-west connectivity, thus catalysing the eastward growth of the city. Being access-controlled, it could well be a model road in the city, said Rangadasa Prabhu, president of EDRAAC.

The road was to have a 30-metre width for 1.5 km from Chakkaraparambu on the Palarivattom-Vyttila NH Bypass up to Vennala-Eroor Road, while the rest of the alignment was to have 45-metre width, since most of the area comprised paddy fields. The corridor which could later be extended up to Infopark, would considerably decongest the busy Vyttila-Thripunithura and Civil Line Road that links the city with Kakkanad. As per 2014 figures, the new road was estimated to cost ₹413 crore, including ₹270 crore for land acquisition.

Funds for the seaport extension of Seaport-Airport Road that runs parallel to the NH Bypass and to clear bottlenecks at Thykoodam on Chilavannoor Bund Road owned by the GCDA, too were prominent omissions in the budget. Development of Bund Road would lessen traffic chaos at Vyttila, he added.

‘To raise in Assembly’

“I will take up in the Legislative Assembly the coming week the omission of Chakkaraparambu-Infopark Road in the budget. This corridor is crucial for Kochiites to get the full benefit of M.G. Road-Thammanam-Chakkaraparambu Road,” said P.T. Thomas, Thrikkakara MLA. “There was no mention of the waste-to-energy plant at Brahmapuram either. These omissions are conspicuous, since Kochi contributes a bulk of the revenue for the government,” Mr. Thomas said.

GCDA Chairman V. Salim said he hoped to overcome land acquisition hurdles at Thykoodam on Chilavannoor Bund Road with the help of the Kochi Corporation. “A handful of land owners are unwilling to surrender their land, although the GCDA offered them alternative land,” he said.

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Printable version | Mar 7, 2021 11:38:12 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/omission-of-key-road-projects-in-budget-draws-flak/article33591005.ece

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