After a delay of several months, the construction of the railway overbridge (ROB) along the NH 183 at Kanjikuzhy has gathered momentum with the fixing of steel composite girders at the site.
Railway officials said with weather permitting, they would be able to complete the project in two months. “Of the 24 girders, we have already fixed 12. The remaining girders are slated to arrive from Tamil Nadu soon. The fixing of girders will be followed by the laying of concrete slabs and the surface carpeting works. In all probability, the ROB will be thrown open to traffic by October end,” said an official.
The 46-metre-long and 14-metre-wide bridge will have footpaths and crash barriers on both sides. Railways had commenced works on the project in June last year but it ran into delays from time to time.
Meanwhile, officials said the ROB in Kanjikuzhy would be followed by the reconstruction of another ROB along the Mother Theresa Road near the Rubber Board. The cumulative cost for rebuilding the ROBs at Kanjikuzhy and Rubber Board, which forms part of the track doubling works along Ettumanoor-Chingavanam stretch, is estimated at ₹16 crore.
Though the Kottayam district administration has announced that land acquisition on the Ettumanoor-Chingavanam corridor would be completed before September 30, the proceedings in this regard are yet to gather pace.
While 70% of the total area has been acquired, the acquisition of 3.9 hectares in Athirampuzha, Perumbaikkad and Muttambalam villages has to be expedited. A decision to acquire the land by invoking the Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act -2013 has been taken.
An earlier attempt by the Revenue department to acquire the land through ‘direct purchase method’ did not fructify as some land owners were unhappy with the price fixed by the District Level Purchase Committee. It would take the Railway authority at least 24 months to complete the works on the stretch, sources said. The earlier deadline was March 31, 2020. Quick acquisition of land is crucial for the double-lining of the 620-km Mangaluru Junction-Kottayam-Thiruvananthapuram Central corridor.