Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Wednesday, Dec 08, 2004
`Skyways over railway lines can be cheaper alternative to Expressway'
V. Sajeev Kumar
Kochi , Dec. 7
AT a time when the State is seriously discussing the pros and cons of the proposed Expressway project, a Kozhikode-based architect has come out with a concept of constructing flyovers above the railway tracks from Kasaragode to Thiruvananthapuram.
Mr N.M. Salim, the architect who designed the project, christened Super Skyway, said these flyovers could be constructed on pillars above the existing rail lines and vehicles could move through concrete roads.
The construction cost would be much lower as it would come to Rs 12,500 crore for a 600 km stretch from Kasargod to Thiruvananthapuram.
It is estimated that Rs 2 lakh is required as construction cost for one metre length, which would come around Rs 12,000 crore approximately.
In addition, the expenses for ramp and other miscellaneous expenses might cost Rs 500 crore. Considering the savings in time conveyance of travel, this will not be a huge expenditure, he said. If toll is levied for each vehicle at the rate of Rs 100, the liabilities could be liquidated within 10 years, he added.
Moreover, land acquisition problems can be minimised as these flyovers are constructed above the railway lines throughout the State. By passing of the road above the rail tracks, the railway commuters are safe from heat and rain.
He pointed out that the flyovers would be a better suggestion on account of the delay in acquisition of land for the construction of proposed highways.
As certain facilities of railways are being utilised for the project, a portion of the expenditure can even be shared with the Railways, he added.
According to Mr Salim, there could be entry points to these flyovers from various towns in the State and the entry points could be planned in ramp sloping method. Skyways are operating successfully in countries such as Japan and the US, Mr Salim said.
The daily increase in the number of vehicles has generated the need for a separate road parallel to the one from Kasargod to Thiruvananthapuram, he added.
The long queues in traffic junctions coupled with dilapidated conditions of several stretches at national highways are causing undue delay for commuters in travelling between various places. If such flyovers come into existence, a commuter can visit and return to any place in Kerala on the same day as the time required for the journey is very less.
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