Kerala

Pachalam rail overbridge opens to traffic

The Pachalam railway overbridge that was opened to traffic on Monday.- Photo: H. Vibhu  

he Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has added another feather in its cap by completing work on an overbridge in a record 10 months at 25 per cent less cost than the projected estimate, despite a slew of agitations that stalled works for nine months, DMRC’s Principal Advisor E. Sreedharan has said.

Speaking at the commissioning of the Pachalam railway overbridge (ROB) that will considerably decongest the city’s densely-populated northern region, the Metro Man said the bridge and land acquisition together cost Rs.39.50 crore, whereas the estimate was Rs.52.50 crore. “The government thus saved Rs.13 crore. Moreover, we chose an innovative, sleek design prepared by P.K. Aravindan, retired professor in Structural Engineering from IIT, Chennai. The contracting firm C.V.C.C. too helped speed up the project,” Mr. Sreedharan said.

A break-up of the expenses incurred for the bridge showed that all civil works were completed for Rs.22 crore as against the estimated Rs.31.44 crore. Land acquisition cost Rs.14.50 crore as against the estimated Rs.17.24 crore.

Elaborating on how the project that could have been inaugurated by 2014-end incurred delay, Mr Sreedharan said work had to be stopped within three months of the foundation stone being laid in March 2014 following agitations. Workmen and machinery idled for nine months, following which work restarted in April 2015.

The bridge is 330-metre long and 10-metre wide, including a 1.50-metre wide footpath.

Vaduthala bridge

Speaking on the occasion, K.V. Thomas, MP, requested the DMRC team led by Mr. Sreedharan to build an overbridge at Vaduthala. “The State and Centre could share the expenses since this will further decongest the region.”

Speaking after inaugurating the bridge, Chief Minister Ommen Chandy said the State needed a joint and realistic approach to sustainable development. The MLA representing the area, Hibi Eden, thanked residents’ associations, NGOs and community organisations for helping settle agitations.

In his presidential address, Minister for Power and Railways Aryadan Mohammed said the bridge was first mooted over 30 years ago. The Kochi Corporation would take up the bridge’s maintenance and also install street lights. The relevant drawings were handed over to Mayor Soumini Jain by DMRC’s Project Director Dani Thomas.

Speakers at the function demanded that the Kochi Corporation widen access roads to the bridge and prevent encroachments.

The others who were present include Kochi Metro Rail Limited managing director Elias George and Minister for Excise and Ports K. Babu.


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Printable version | Sep 28, 2021 12:48:50 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/Pachalam-rail-overbridge-opens-to-traffic/article13994623.ece

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