Key road projects in Kochi find place in budget

Mayor M. Anil Kumar was elated at the fact that key road and allied infrastructure projects submitted by the Kochi Corporation, including the one to hew out an elevated corridor parallel to Pandit Karuppan Road, found mention in Friday’s State Budget.

“The detailed project report [DPR] for the elevated corridor that is slated to cost approximately ₹300 crore was readied by a team led by Metroman E. Sreedharan. The budget has also included a cluster of four road corridors that were crying for development — Goshree-Mamangalam Road, K.P. Vallon Road, Palluruthy parallel road, and the approach stretch to Madura Company-Kannangat Bridge Road. A DPR will have to be readied for each,” he said.

The concerted demand to decongest Pandit Karuppan Road that links Thevara on M.G. Road and the Kundannoor-Alexander Parambithara Bridge stretch, grew louder in 2018, after traffic snarls became the norm in the busy but narrow and heavily-encroached upon road.

K.P. Vallon Road that runs south from Kadavanthra Junction too faces a similar predicament. Most parts of the Goshree-Mamangalam Road, which runs parallel to Banerjee Road, are bottlenecked.

The budget has also included important canal-cleaning and development projects in West Kochi, Mr. Anil Kumar said.

KIIFB funds

With the PWD, which recently took over the Thammanam-Pullepady Road from the Kochi Corporation, to extend it up to M.G. Road and the NH Bypass and also widen it into a four-lane stretch, is banking on funds from the ₹15,000 crore that is expected to raised by Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB) for road projects in the State. Preliminary estimates put the cost to acquire land and to develop the stretch at around ₹300 crore.

KIIFB had earlier sanctioned funds to develop yet another crucial road project — the airport extension of the Seaport-Airport Road.

“The State government had earlier sanctioned funds to extend the HMT-NAD stretch. While private lands on the stretch were acquired, that owned by HMT and NAD has to be taken over. KIIFB funds will be needed to extend the stretch further from NAD,” said sources in the Roads and Bridges Development Corporation of Kerala (RBDCK).

Heritage conservation

Meanwhile, Antony Kureethara, Opposition Leader in the Kochi Corporation Council, said there were no definite allocations in the budget for conservation of heritage in Kochi. “There have also not been any specific allotments to deal with the city’s waterlogging problems,” he said.

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