The State government on Monday informed the Kerala High Court that as the Kochi Metro rail project was time-bound, delay in land acquisition would adversely affect the project.

In a statement, the government pointed out that widening works of Banerji Road from Paramara to Madhava Pharmacy, of MG road from Madhava Pharmacy to Jose Junction and of South railway station to Jos Junction were preparatory works for the Metro rail project. The value fixed for a cent of land on Banerji road came to Rs.31,01,083. The affidavit was filed in response to a petition filed by P. Muralidharan of Ernakulam seeking a directive to the revenue authorities to acquire only that portion of his building which was required for the KMRL project.

The government said an inquiry notice was served to the petitioner and a draft award submitted to the District Collector for approval. As the petitioner refused to vacate and hand over the property, the Land Acquisition Officer had asked the sub-divisional magistrate to issue a warrant. The petitioner was later evicted and the property and movables were attached.

The government said it was not feasible to raze a part of the property and the entire building had to be demolished. As the petitioner was a minority shareholder in the property, he was not entitled to any of the reliefs sought for in the petition.

Preliminary designs

Egis India, detailed-design consultant of Kochi Metro, will hand over the preliminary designs of 17 metro stations to the Indian Institute of Architects (Kochi Chapter) on Tuesday. 

IIA’s members will improvise the designs to give them a regional flavour. The architects will work as five teams and design all 22 stations, after taking into account climatic conditions, culture and the history of Kochi. They will also probe the possibility of rain water harvesting and reliance on solar energy in the stations. 

Managing director of KMRL Elias George, Director (Projects) Mahesh Kumar, DMRC officials, representatives of Egis India and office-bearers of IIA participated in a meeting held on Monday. Division of labour among different stakeholders was finalised at the meeting. The architects will design the roof of stations and a few other key features after considering Kerala’s weather conditions and the heavy monsoon.

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