Mayor had complained to CM about tardy pace of Metro work

The war of words between Congress leaders over the delay in the Kochi Metro Rail construction and development of related infrastructure intensified when Hibi Eden, MLA, accused the Kochi Corporation of not being proactive in fulfilling its role in the timely completion of the prestigious project.

Kochi Mayor Tony Chammany, who recently shot off a letter to Chief Minister Oommen Chandy stating that he was upset over the tardy pace of works on the Kochi Metro Rail project, lost no time to hit back by saying that Mr. Hibi Eden seemed to be settling personal scores by raising baseless allegations against him on the Metro Rail issue.

The Mayor also reiterated that he had only pointed out certain facts regarding the need to remove the existing bottlenecks in the Metro Rail project.

Mr. Eden had blamed the local body for its failure to complete its major road projects, including the Atlantis rail overbridge and Thammanam-Pullepady Road. The government had made all efforts to clear various hurdles, including the vexed issue of land acquisition, aimed at the smooth and timely completion of the Metro Rail project, he said.

Mr. Eden said the government had already sanctioned Rs. 25 crore for the widening of the Thammanam-Pullepady Raod but the corporation could not ensure the time-bound completion of the project that would have eased the traffic snarls in the city. He said the government had also sanctioned Rs. 19 crore for developing 22 roads under the Kochi Corporation.

The MLA urged the Kochi Corporation authorities to step up pressure on the State government and relevant agencies to increase funding for various road projects rather than complaining over the lack of support from the State government for city's development.

Mr. Eden said a meeting of elected representatives would be held at Thiruvananthapuram on May 7 to resolve various issues related to the Kochi Metro Rail. He praised the Kochi Metro Rail Ltd for trying its best to ensure the timely completion of the project.

Referring to the differences between the Mayor and the Chairman of the Greater Cochin Development Authority over the laser show project at Rajendra Maidan, Mr. Eden said it was a viable initiative that should be supported. He requested the local body to speed up necessary clearances for the project.

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