Town planners say that a mass rapid transport system such as the metro rail is inevitable in Kochi – a city whose residents have been much inconvenienced because of incessant traffic snarls. Senior Town Planner of the Greater Cochin Development Authority (GCDA) V. Gopalakrishna Pillai said that he recently got a first-hand experience of the metro rail system in New Delhi.
He termed as flimsy, allegations by detractors of the project that the road between the pillars that support the rails would become slums. “I could not find any slum beneath the rails in Delhi.
“The metro is a good means of mass rapid transport. Business activity in many parts of the city will have to be wound up, in the absence of a good mode of public transport. Care has to be taken so that the system is integrated with other modes of transport like boats, railways and buses.”
Mr. Pillai spoke of the urgent need to widen roads that might impede traffic flow when the work is on.
Utilities like cables, pipelines and posts too have to be shifted. The Shanmukham Road alignment will considerably benefit lawyers attending the High Court and district courts, apart from boat commuters and Goshree islanders.
Former Senior Town Planner and former member secretary of the GCDA and Trivandrum Development Authority, K. Joseph Alexander, said that the estimated cost of Rs.3,000 crore is not too high, considering the huge socio-economic and environmental benefits of the project.
“It would be ideal if the metro goes underground as it passes through Shanmukham Road. Shops near metro stations will considerably benefit from the shopping by commuters,”