Experts believe that the prospect of the project becoming a reality will be brightened by the new redesign. The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) had already submitted the design of the new ROB at Pachalam to the Kochi Corporation. The DMRC had also submitted a copy of the design to Kochi Metro Rail Ltd. As per the design, the DMRC had proposed a bridge with a width of 10 metres and with minimal land acquisition.
“As per our plan, the Pachalam ROB will have a width of 10 metres which will require minimal land acquisition. The land needs to be acquired only for the service roads. The total cost of the bridge, including land acquisition cost, will come up to only `51 crore. Now the Corporation will have to get the proposal approved by the State Cabinet. The DMRC will be able initiate the tender proceedings and carry out the work after the government includes the Pachalam ROB project in the list of preparatory works of Kochi Metro Rail,” said a DMRC official.
A councillor from the opposition said that since the funds for the ROB was sanctioned from the Centre under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) as per the original alignment, it is not a wise to re-design it.
But a Corporation official brushed aside the allegations raised by the opposition and said that they had the popular support for the decision.
“The funding will be finalised after holding consultations with the government. Even if we are channelising the funds from JNNURM, it will not be an issue. The JNNURM guidelines allow alterations in any one of the two components, gradient or width. “We can make changes in either the gradient of the ROB or the width if it makes the project more feasible,” he said adding that width of some major bridges like Venduruthy Bridge is only 10.5 metres.