MLA seeks right utilisation of funds to develop road
MLA seeks right utilisation of funds to develop road

MLA seeks right utilisation of funds to develop road


Involvement of too many agencies will hamper project, says P.T. Thomas
The Public Works Department (PWD) should urgently take over and develop the Padma Junction-Pullepady-Thammanam-NH Bypass-Infopark-Kalamassery corridor, so that the ₹300 crore sanctioned by the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB) is utilised in a time-bound manner, P.T. Thomas, MLA. has said.
“The east-west corridor will considerably de-congest the city and neighbouring municipalities by opening up a new stretch from the city to Kalamassery. The current focus on widening just the Thammanam-Pullepady stretch will not benefit the city.
Both Minister for Public Works G. Sudhakaran and Minister for Finance Thomas Isaac had agreed in principle to hew out the 10-km road linking M.G. Road with Kalamassery, while replying to my submission in the Assembly on the need for better east-west connectivity in Kochi,” Mr. P.T. Thomas told The Hindu.
Back in December, Mayor Soumini Jain had sought funds to acquire land for developing the corridor and requested the State government to declare it a Commercial-IT Corridor, since it would provide a straight link between the city’s commercial and IT hubs. She raised the demand after the Finance Minister announced that the PWD was willing to take over the expansion of the corridor at the foundation-stone laying ceremony for the Vyttila flyover.
Mr. Isaac had also promised to release KIIFB funds for the purpose.
The MLA said that the corridor could be developed only by the PWD, since the land on the stretch fell under the Kochi Corporation and neighbouring municipalities. “Involvement of too many players will hamper the speedy realisation of the road project,” he added.
‘Relinquish road’
Responding to the MLA’s view, a senior PWD official said that the corporation had not submitted the relinquishment form, surrendering the Thammanam-Pullepady Road to the department. “The corporation must also complete land acquisition to widen the road into four lanes, following which the PWD can build a road,” he added.
However, Mr. Thomas rebutted the official’s argument, saying such a procedure was not required. “The corporation council had passed a resolution surrendering the land to the PWD free of cost. This in itself is enough for the PWD to take over the stretch, further extend and develop the corridor,” he said.
The MLA, who represents the Thrikkakara constituency, had on Monday sought speeding up the tracking of the road project, at a meeting convened here on Monday by Minister for Education C. Ravindranath, the Cabinet Minister in charge of Ernakulam district.
It is noteworthy that the takeover of the road by the PWD had suffered delay as the State government had in 2016 turned down the corporation’s offer to surrender the Thammanam-Pullepady stretch (which lies parallel to SA Road) to the department.
In the meantime, funds worth around ₹25 crore allotted during the UDF rule to acquire land is lying unused owing to confusion over which agency should develop the stretch. Just over ₹2 crore has so far been spent on developing the Kathrikadavau-Karnakodam stretch. Still, proposals to widen the chaotic Thammanam Junction and a few other bottlenecked stretches remain on paper.



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