Negotiations in advanced stage for taking over the rest of the land, says managing director of KMRL Elias George

Over 31 hectares of the total 40 hectares of land required for the Aluva-Pettah metro viaduct has been acquired thanks to “outstanding” work done by a team led by District Collector P.I. Sheikh Pareeth, managing director of Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) Elias George has said.

It was no mean task since advance possession of land was taken from a total of over 300 land owners, he told reporters here on Thursday.

It was one of the fastest land acquisitions made in the country for a project of such a large scale. Negotiations were in an advanced stage for taking over the rest of the land, he added.

On the inordinate delay in acquiring land to widen the congested Vyttila-Pettah Road, Mr. George said the State government had promised to give Rs. 70 crore by March to compensate land owners.

With the revised deadline for land acquisition expiring in December last year, the deadline was extended to March 2014.

Apart from 40 hectares for the Aluva-Pettah metro viaduct, a total of 1.70 hectares has to be acquired for widening narrow portions on the Aluva-Edappally stretch of NH 47. This is in addition to the 114 hectares needed for constructing metro villages in Muttom near Aluva and in Kakkanad.

Another 40 hectares is needed for constructing a coach-maintenance yard at Muttom.

The five preparatory works entrusted with the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) — construction of two overbridges and widening of three arterial roads — entails acquiring another 102.50 cents of land. Land acquisition has not been completed for widening narrow areas of M.G. Road and converting Jos Junction-South railway station road into a four-lane road.

Pachalam overbridge

Referring to progress of works for Pachalam overbridge,

Mr. George said the DMRC had submitted detailed drawings of the proposed bridge. “Work can begin once the State government accords administrative sanction,” he said.

Labour issues

On metro’s casting yard at HMT coming to a standstill after unskilled workers affiliated to trade unions obstructed works and demanded jobs, he said the metro was Kerala’s flagship project and there would be zero-tolerance towards “intruders” at work sites. “Such incidents will be treated as a criminal offence. Police protection has been intensified in and around the work site,” he said.

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