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Updated: July 11, 2013 02:03 IST

Hartal strikes metro, throws work off track

Staff Reporter
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Lone bright spot: On a day when the 12-hour hartal hit Kochi metro work, piling at the work site at Kacherippady was successfully launched on Wednesday. — Photo: Vipin Chandran
Lone bright spot: On a day when the 12-hour hartal hit Kochi metro work, piling at the work site at Kacherippady was successfully launched on Wednesday. — Photo: Vipin Chandran

While opening Kochi metro project on June 7, the Chief Minister had promised work would go on without break for even a single day

On Wednesday the Kochi Metro Rail project had its first date with hartal. The dawn-to-dusk close-down called by the Left Democratic Front stalled construction work of the project moving at a frenetic pace to meet the deadline.

When Chief Minister Oommen Chandy had set the 1,095-day deadline for the Rs.5,182-crore project on June 7, he said work would go on without break for even a single day.

However, work progressing at a steady pace until now, was thrown out of gear at several sites as many workers failed to turn up.

It was widely perceived that hartals would not affect the metro work as all political parties in the State had pledged their support for the project.

Work was completely disrupted on Edappally-Muttom-Kalamassery-Kaloor stretch that falls under the first and second reaches of the project. Piling work in front of Changampuzha Park, Edappally, which is part of the second reach of the project between Kalamassery and Kaloor, came to a halt.

The only silver lining was the bhumi pooja held near Kacherippady marking the launch of construction work of the third reach of the project between Kaloor international stadium and south. The construction of the third reach is likely to gather momentum when land is made available. The construction of the fourth reach from south to Pettah is set to start next month.

Land inspection was held at two points near Kaloor and at one point on M.G. Road. Road widening work between Town Hall and St. Antony’s School on Banerjee Road was partially disrupted.

Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) had said categorically that disruption of work even for a day would cost the project dearly, not to mention the loss of time.

DMRC Project Director P. Sriram said work on the third reach of the project was likely to gather momentum once the inspection of M.G. Road was completed. The district collector has decided to convene a meeting of the district administration, police, and DMRC to complete the inspection of M.G. Road to trace underground utility lines.

Meanwhile, the State Level Empowered Committee has approved the value of land to be acquired for four metro stations at Edappally, Pettah, Cochin University of Science and Technology, and Muttom. The committee is likely to approve the value of plots for the other metro stations as and when the district-level purchase committee submits it.

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