Kerala Inland Waterways and Waterway Infrastructure Department is proposing to build new bridges, jetties and walkways to rehabilitate the waterways between Kovalam and Akkulam. The project report estimates that the cost of the project will be around Rs. 280 crores.
The Department of Inland Waterways and Kerala Waterways Infrastructure Limited (KWIL) have proposed the construction of new bridges, tourist jetties and walkways as part of the rehabilitation of the waterways between Kovalam and Akkulam. A Detailed Project Report (DPR), estimated to cost around Rs. 280 crore, has been submitted to the KIIFB for approval. Officials linked to the project said a new concrete bridge was also proposed to connect to Edayar Island.
In addition, new bridges were proposed to replace the existing SM lock and Ponnara bridges. However, the authorities need to get approval from the airport authorities to rebuild the Ponnara Bridge. It is proposed to rebuild all bridges to allow better vehicular access and improve connectivity.
Four tourist boat docks have been proposed at Kovalam, Thiruvallam, Chackai and Vallakadavu. The expansion of the waterways attaches particular importance to the promotion of tourism. Bridges and jetties are proposed to increase tourism potential. A walkway will also be built on this route on either side of Parvathy Puthanar.
The KIIFB has already committed an amount of Rs 183 crore for the development of the canal over a distance of 16 kilometers between Kovalam and Akkulam. Bridge construction is already progressing at Karikkakam, Puthenpalam and Panathura. Projects of Rs 8.4 crore are now accepted to develop the Akkulam to Kadinamkulam canal.
Work has already begun on another bridge – St Andrews Bridge – across the body of water at Pallithura, officials said. According to the project managers, the route from Kadinamkulam to Onnampalam is finished. The tunnels at Varkala have also been cleared for transport. The St. Andrew’s Bridge was built almost 50 years ago and is currently undergoing reconstruction, and the adjacent road is also planned to be upgraded as part of the waterway development program. 5.65 hectares of land are purchased for this purpose.
The Akkulam-Kollam canal section is one of two sections selected in the pilot phase for the creation of a conceptual plan as part of the proposed Transit Oriented Development (TOD) in the canal corridor. Kerala Waterways Infrastructure Limited has previously forwarded an application for permission in principle to produce concept plans for each section of the canal as part of the preparation of a comprehensive master plan for the West Coast Canal.
The proposal is to identify economic development potentials and create business opportunities in the corridor as part of the development of the canal. Kovalam-akkulam and akkulam-kollam are among the 13 trends identified for this project. The concept plan is expected to cost around Rs 4 crore. An official from KWIL said that an agency has been awarded the contract and work has begun to create the concept plan.
Source: News Network
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