Sources with the DMRC brushed aside the plan for the realignment of Metro Rail at South ROB, which has further diminished the chances of the reconstruction of the bridge.
Kochi: The chances for the reconstruction of the Ernakulam South Rail Overbridge (ROB) as a preparatory work of the Kochi Metro Rail are bleak as the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), the implementing agency of the project, is yet to receive the official communication in this regard. Though the demand for widening the South ROB has been under discussion for some time, the authorities concerned have not taken any step to take the project forward so far. Sources with the DMRC also brushed aside the plan for the realignment of Metro Rail at South ROB, which has further diminished the chances of the reconstruction of the bridge.
“So far, the DMRC has no plans of reconstructing the bridge. Our first priority is the completion of Kochi Metro Rail within the scheduled time,” sources said. Regarding the realignment of South ROB, the DMRC has no plans to deviate from the actual plan.
However, while constructing the viaducts at the landing portions of the South ROB at Manorama junction, nearly 2.5 metres of the road will not be of any use for traffic. So the landing portion will be widened.
“An additional three metre width will be provided on both the landing stretches of the bridge so as to avoid any traffic bottleneck. However, the portion at centre of the ROB will be untouched,” sources said.
Meanwhile,the Corporation authorities and experts are of the opinion that this is the right time to commence the reconstruction of the South ROB, as it will be difficult to carry out the work once the Kochi Metro Rail is commissioned.
After the viaducts of the Kochi Metro are constructed, it will be difficult to demolish and reconstruct the bridge, since the viaducts at Manorama junction would be constructed close to the bridge.
Meanwhile, the Corporation authorities are supporting a realignment plan for the Kochi Metro at South ROB to help in reconstruction of the bridge and to prevent land acquisition at the northern side of the ROB.
As per the plan, the Metro Rail track will cross the Ernakulam South Railway station to reach the ROB from Karshaka Road.
There are several buildings at the northern side of the ROB, of which many are commercial establishments. Since the pillars are to be erected from under the bridge, the Ernakulam South ROB needs to be widened and reconstructed. But the reconstruction of the bridge has not been included in the preparatory work of the project.
Meanwhile, experts said that if not through KMRL and DMRC, the work of the bridge can be handed over to agencies like Kerala Road Fund Board or Kerala Roads and Bridges Development Corporation.