Alternative routes planned to divert traffic during Kochi metro rail work

Narrow, bottlenecked junctions in city to be widened to ensure smooth traffic

Alternative roads, through which vehicles are to be diverted when work on the Kochi Metro begins on June 7, will be developed and resurfaced by the Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL).

This was decided at a meeting of KMRL representatives, traffic police and other stakeholders held here on Thursday. KMRL Managing Director Elias George said a tentative plan had been readied for traffic diversion. “The Aluva-Pettah alignment of the metro will be divided into numerous sub stretches and steps taken to streamline traffic flow. Suggestions from members of the public will be considered. Our aim will be to ensure minimum inconvenience to the public,” he said.

“We will help the police procure recovery vans to tow away vehicles that obstruct traffic and also equipment for enabling traffic diversion. Steps will also be taken to install sign boards in various parts of the district to guide motorists,” he added. Mr. George said 20 of the 40 hectares of land required for the project had been acquired. The rest would be acquired by June-end.

He said narrow and bottlenecked junctions in the city would be widened to pave way for smoother traffic.

A traffic police officer said a final traffic diversion plan would be readied before June 7. “Steps will also be taken to widen the extremely narrow junction where Rajaji Road meets Chitoor Road, since more vehicles will use the newly-opened A.L. Jacob overbridge when vehicles are diverted as part of metro’s works.”

Delhi Metro Rail Corporation’s (DMRC) Principal Advisor E. Sreedharan inspected the metro’s alignment from the city up to Edappally on Thursday. He held discussions with senior officials, including those from BSNL, on speedy relocation of cables and pipelines.

Sources associated with the project said identification and relocation of cables and pipelines in the Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium-Ernakulam South stretch would be a difficult task since most departments did not have drawings that identified the exact locations.

Priority would be given to shifting telephone cables and overhead lines, since the communication network had to be intact. The relocation would be done simultaneously with the construction works that will be undertaken in different phases.

L&T team

In a related development, a team of senior officials from Larsen & Toubro (L&T) arrived in the city to prepare the ground for beginning the construction work.

They have begun recruiting personnel for test piling and subsequent works. Steps are also afoot to arrange machinery for the works.

L&T was awarded the work to build the viaduct and stations in the Aluva-International Stadium stretch. The DMRC is expected to award the work on the rest of the metro corridor within a week.

Metro yards

The KMRL is expected to decide on construction yards, where girders and other material will be cast, within a week.

“Land of the HMT is expected any time, while a few acres of FACT and SAIL lands will also be used for the purpose,” Mr. George said.

The KMRL has identified a firm for carrying out safety audit of the metro works.