Kochi: The ambitious project to develop four major railway stations, including the Ernakulam Junction (Ernakulam South railway station), to international level is awaiting clearance of the Chennai headquarters for the last six months.
The inordinate delay has put several allied projects including the direct pathway connectivity from upcoming metro station to the Ernakulam South railway station under a cloud of uncertainty.
"As per the agreement signed with the National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC) India Ltd and the Railway Land Development Authority (RLDA), the deadline set for completion of the renovation work is 2020. The work is expected to take at least two-and-a half years. The division had submitted the project plan for approval of the Southern Railway headquarters six months back. However, the nod is yet to be given," said railway sources.
One of the proposals under the station redevelopment project was to set up a pathway connecting directly from first floor of the South metro station to the first floor of the renovated railway station building. This to provide easy access to commuters for reaching railway station without getting out of the metro station building.
"We've got no response from railway authorities for long. The Maharajas College-Thykoodam section is scheduled to be opened for services by June 2019 and the metro station construction is progressing fast. Had they responded, we could've constructed the pathway along with the work of the metro station. Now we've decided to leave only a provision for the pathway. It's up to the railways to construct the same or not," said a senior metro official.The station redevelopment project mainly focus on enhancing passenger amenities at the stations.