Kerala CM evaluates Progress of Kochi Metro works

Kochi: Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy Thursday held a review meeting here on the progress of the Kochi Metro Rail project and to finalise plans to augment key city transport infrastructure to go hand in hand with the metro project.

The meeting was attended by Union minister K V Thomas, besides state ministers Aryadan Mohammed, K Babu, Ibrahim Kunju and Anoop Jacob, DMRC Principal Advisor E Sreedharan and KMRL Managing Director Elias George.

Later briefing reporters, Transport minister Aryadan Mohammed said some key issues, including widening of the Vyttila-Petta and Thammanam-Pullepady Roads were discussed.

On widening Vytilla-Petta road it was decided that apart from the current Rs.20 crore for land acquisition Rs.70 crore would be made from available provisions in Budget to ensure no delays. The balance of Rs.30 crore would be made available in April 2014 as first priority, he said.

Land acquisition process will be completed by Mar 2014. It was also decided that a provision in PWD budget to execute the road work at a cost of Rs.30 crore would be enhanced over the current and ensuing financial years to ensure work is completed in the fastest possible time.

It was decided that the Thammanam-Pullepady road would be widened for 18 metres, instead of earlier proposed 22 metres.

The Kochi Mayor agreed to put up the plan to the Council to hand over of this Corporation road to PWD. After this, Rs.25 crore would be provided by Government for the works.

Work would be undertaken by PWD and land required to widen the road, utilizing funds provided by Kochi Corporation to the Collector and provisions for land acquisition available in the state Budget.

Kerala Water Authority would undertake work on shifting pipeline at SA road and provide the additional amount. KWA has tendered the work to a contractor and the present stretch will be completed in 60 days and handed over to KMRL by Jan 1.

The next half stretch would be completed in another 30 days. It would take a total of 90 days to complete the entire work.

On reconstruction of South Railway Over bridge, it was o decided that work would be taken up after providing adequate budgetary provisions for both land-acquisition component as well as the actual works component in the next State budget.

Greater Cochin Development Authority Chairman N Venugopal said a plan to widen Eastern Entry ROB has been submitted and would be approved soon. Land acquisition for the purpose would be completed along with the Metro land acquisition work.

The plan to mine sand from Bharathapuzha and Periyar rivers for Metro work would be placed in the next cabinet meet on augmenting water transportation in Kochi under JNNURM,it was decided city-water buses between Vyttila-Kakkanad would commence by next month. A plan to fund them would be submitted to Urban Development Ministry in November so funds are made available early.

Meanwhile, some LDF, DYFI and AYFI workers tried to stage a black flag demonstration against Chief Minister Oommen Chandy over the solar panel scam issue, but were chased away by police using water cannons.