Reconstruction of Vallakkadavu bridge put off: Minister

Project put off temporarily owing to the increase in project estimate from ₹39.5 crore to ₹56.5 crore

Published - July 10, 2024 08:42 pm IST - Thiruvananthapuram

Reconstruction of the Vallakkadavu bridge across TS Canal has been put off temporarily owing to the increase in project estimate to ₹56.5 crore, Minister for Culture Saji Cherian has said.

He was replying to a submission by Antony Raju, MLA, on behalf of Minister for Public Works P.A. Mohamed Riyas in the Assembly on Wednesday.

Mr. Raju had pointed out that the Vallakkadavu bridge, across TS Canal, was closed last year owing to its dilapidated condition. A temporary bridge was instead opened. It, however, accommodated only light motor vehicles.

The reconstruction of the bridge had been sanctioned in 2009. On May 21, 2023, administrative sanction was given for a ₹39.5-crore scheme. However, with an increase in bitumen cost and other reasons, a revised estimate for ₹56.5 crore was submitted.

The bridge was an important connect to the domestic airport, Shanghumughom, and godown. The Padmanabhaswamy temple Arat procession also passed through this bridge.

However, it was learnt that the Finance department had deferred the administrative sanction. Nearly 90% of the land acquisition was over. If the work was not urgently completed, it could affect the functioning of the national waterway, Mr. Raju said.

Mr. Cherian said the ₹39.5-crore estimate was revised last year. However, the problem was that the land acquisition alone for reconstructing the bridge would require ₹31.7 crore. This had increased the estimate to ₹56.5 crore. The Finance department had consequently deferred the work for now.

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