D Dhanuraj, Chairman of CPPR, comments on the news 2.5-km-long ‘green corridor’ project hits major roadblock“. The news was published in Times of India on 21st June 2023.

Kochi: A 2.5-km-long ‘green corridor’ proposed between Ernakulam North and Ernakulam South railway stations to cater to pedestrians, bicycle riders, two-wheelers and e-autorickshaws, has hit a roadblock due to fund shortage. The 12-m width corridor was aimed at providing connectivity between the stations and decongesting MG Road and Banerjee Road. The corporation was planning to implement the project with $1 million aid from the European Union under the Mobilize Your City programme. The feasibility report of the project was prepared in July 2020.

It is learnt that the finance department is not keen on taking up the project as receiving $1 million aid would be a liability for the state, which is already facing crisis due to increasing debts.

When the corporation authorities approached the finance minister, the minister had pointed out practical difficulties of spending huge amounts for the project through foreign aid.

Mayor M Anilkumar said that the corporation cannot go ahead with the project without major fund allocation by the government.

“We have so many other infrastructure projects pending for completion in the city, including Thammanam-Pullepady Road development, KP Vallon Road development, Goshree-Mamangalam Road, Bund Road, etc. We have to give priority to them now,” he said.

The mayor added that the green corridor project has not yet dropped and is still under consideration.

D Dhanuraj of Centre of Public Policy Research (CPPR) said that the project should not be dropped as it would be a major infrastructure project which would provide accessibility to the two railway stations that are being developed into international standards.

The corporation should raise funds on its own, he said.

Ebenezer Chullikkad of Greater Cochin Development Watch said that the authorities could implement the project using the build-operate-transfer model.

Views expressed by the author are personal and need not reflect or represent the views of the Centre for Public Policy Research.

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