The Hindu, June 15th, 2015

Uncertainty over the mode of financing the second phase development works of Vyttila mobility hub persists, even as metro trains are expected to call at the hub in early 2017. The Vyttila flyover, too, is scheduled for completion by that time.

The newly-appointed MD of the Vyttila Mobility Hub Society (VMHS) Asha Thomas said that steps for acquiring land for the hub’s entry and exit were set in motion two weeks’ ago. “The society’s executive committee meeting would be held in three weeks’ time, after about a year’s gap. The financing mode for the hub’s phase-two development, proposed to be undertaken under public-private participation (PPP) mode, has to be decided,” Ms Thomas said.

While the hub is slated to be integrated with the metro through a corridor, integration with the flyover is yet to be finalised. Metro sources said that the hub is going to be the nerve centre of Kochi when metro trains begin operation, since Vyttila is the only inter-modal hub in the district where three modes of transport–road, water and metro rail, intersect with one another.

An earlier proposal to execute Rs. 450-crore worth development works at the hub in the project’s phase two was held up after State government cited paucity of funds. The government further suggested scaling down of the proposals or adoption of PPP option to raise funds.

Expressing concern over the uncertainty clouding hub’s development works, D. Dhanuraj, chairman of Centre for Public Policy Research (CPPR), an NGO which played a key role in the hub becoming a reality, said that facilities at the hub for buses, autos and boats must keep pace with the metro station coming up in the premises and the flyover at Vyttila Junction. “Only then will the hub serve its purpose. For this, it must avail funds promptly and also have a team of experts in its fold. This will also have a bearing on Kochi Metro’s passenger patronage,” he said.

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