Jan 23, 2017

Engineer proposes elevated highway over railway line

Kozhikode: As a cost-effective substitute to the proposed widening of the national highway by acquiring vast area of private land, N.M. Salim, a city-based engineer, has come out with an innovative proposal for constructing an elevated highway over the railway line.

A preliminary report in this regard submitted to various departments suggests that the construction of a four-lane elevated highway over the railway line will help the State accomplish its dream of having a high-speed roadway with minimal investment and high safety standards.
However, Mr. Salim, who has been in the field for decades, says the construction of the 600-km-long road with a width of 45 metres in the existing circumstances does not sound workable owing to impediments including land acquisition. “We will have to wait for several years before carrying out such a huge undertaking, which involves mobilising the consent of land holders,” he points out.

The main advantage of the elevated highway, according to him, is that it hardly requires large-scale land acquisition. “A policy level decision can definitely usher in a change, where the government can bring down the expected cost of ₹34,000 crore for the construction of the widened national highway,” he says.

The proposal that describes the concrete road as a ‘white top road’ will be more vehicle-friendly and offer smoother and fuel-efficient ride. It will also help the government bring down the annual road maintenance cost, besides enabling travellers to save time.

Also, Mr. Salim points out that the State can project the enterprise as a milestone in its developmental history. “Such a highway above the railway line with proximity to the Arabian sea will be an asset to the tourism sector, and it can even claim a world-record for its uniqueness,” he adds.
The engineer also stresses the need for conducting a feasibility study and holding consultations with the Railway authorities. “Once approved in principle, the government can go for a detailed engineering study. A detailed project report can be prepared with the support of expert government agencies,” he points out
Source - The Hindu