Subway project in Kerala capital likely to be dropped, with foot overbridge project taking off in the same location

With the work on the foot overbridge at East Fort taking off and with concerns of possible flooding being raised, the subway project planned at the same location under the Thiruvananthapuram city Corporation's Smart City projects is likely to be cancelled.

The subway, with a proposed cost of around ₹30 crore, was mooted to reduce the congestion at the East Fort junction and to ensure a safe passage for pedestrians to the Chala market side.

A foot overbridge or subway has been a long-standing demand from the public, as the area has witnessed deaths of pedestrians in road accidents in recent years. The stone-laying ceremony for a foot overbridge here was conducted more than two years ago. However, the project got delayed due to the Archaeology Department objecting to the structure owing to its proximity to the Fort Wall.

Public-private venture

The project is being executed under a public-private partnership between the city Corporation and a private company. Two other foot overbridges were similarly constructed in front of Cotton Hill Government Girls' Higher Secondary School at Vazhuthacaud and St. Mary's Higher Secondary School at Pattom. The company was set to bear the cost of construction and maintenance of the foot overbridge. It would have generated revenue from advertisement rights on the overbridge.

However, with the foot overbridge construction taking off, questions have been raised about the need for a subway at the same location. The detailed project report (DPR) of the proposed subway has already been prepared. But, right from the beginning, experts have pointed at the chances of the subway getting flooded frequently due to its location at a flood-prone area near the city's canal system.

Confusion over need

"The DPR for the subway was made under the assumption that the foot overbridge project would not take off. But now that the work for the overbridge has begun, there is confusion over the need for a subway too in the same location. In the upcoming Smart City Thiruvananthapuram Limited (SCTL) board meeting, the proposal to drop the project will be discussed. The consultant who prepared the DPR will probably have to be compensated. There have been instances of projects being dropped under Smart City in other cities too. At any point when there is a feeling that a project might not be viable, it is better to drop it," said a source from the SCTL.

Meanwhile, Corporation officials said that the civic body wanted the work on the overbridge to be completed before Onam. However, at the current pace, it could overshoot that schedule.

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Printable version | Sep 21, 2021 9:03:52 AM |

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