Minister SP Velumani speaks with Japan & Germany on Metro rail Project

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Coimbatore: The rural and administrative minister of municipal, SP Velumani, said on Wednesday that talks had been held with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the German development agency Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) to implement the railway project of metro in the city. According to sources, the first phase of the metro rail project, whose feasibility study has not yet been carried out, is likely to start at Avinashi Road, where an overflight is also approaching.

“The work on the Avinashi Road overpass and the metro rail project will be taken simultaneously and working on one will not affect the other,” Velumani said when asked how both projects would be implemented on the same stretch.

The minister, who inspected the soil test work for the Avinashi Road overpass here, said the state government has allocated Rs 950 crore for the construction of overpass and sanctioned another Rs 65 lakh for the testing process of soil. “We will allocate more funds when necessary,” he added. Veumani also confirmed that the design of the Ukkadam overpass had been altered as it was impossible to carry out the works until the Athupalam crossing, where L & T received an extension to operate its toll plaza until October of this year.

The plan was to finish the flyover at the Athupalam crossing. Now, it would be built only until the crossing of Karumbbukadai.

“We will start the work and then we will obtain permission to extend the flyby,” he told reporters here. Wednesday that the decision of the highway department to change the design of the Ukkadam overpass and activists’ concern that the project in the current form would be useless.

According to the highway officials, the bids for the project were published and will open on February 5. “The project will continue for two and a half years and we expect to receive a certificate of no objection (NOC) to extend the overpass to the Athupalam crossing before that,” said an official.

Meanwhile, industrialists and city-based activists expressed concern and said the highway department should delay the project and start working only after receiving the NOC from the Union’s highway and highway ministry. “Building the overpass to Karumbukkadai and then expanding it will not help, it will be a waste of money, we will have a meeting with the highway department about it,” said one industrialist in the city.

The state government has allocated Rs 121.82 crore for the construction of the four-lane overpass, which would be 1.7 km long. It has also sanctioned Rs 88.61 crore for the acquisition of land as 18,526.97 square meters of private land and 13,291.75 square meters of government land are required to be acquired for the project. The flyover would have two grade separators to join the Ukkadam junction with the Perur bypass and the Sungam bypass.

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