Clarity eludes the total area of land that has to be acquired for the Kochi Metro Rail project, since its alignment and the extent of land required for the metro stations are yet to be finalized.

Officially, 32 hectares was to be acquired, of which 15 hectares is government land. A good share of land set to be acquired will be to house metro rail stations. It is unclear whether all the stations will have pay-and-park lots adjacent to them.

Parking lots

While the detailed project report prepared by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) mentions the need for a spacious parking lot at Aluva and Pettah — the two terminal stations — a study done by the School of Management Studies of Cusat for the Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) cites the need to have them adjacent to each station. “This is primarily to cater to commuters from side roads who can park their vehicles at the nearest station and board the metro,” said a KMRL source.

The KMRL intends to relocate a few bus stops so that metro commuters can easily change over to buses. The State Government will bear the expenditure for land acquisition. Agencies like HUDCO have offered loans for the purpose.

Sharp curves

While KMRL cites the need to smoothen six sharp curves along the Aluva-M G Road-Pettah alignment, the DMRC insists that only the curve at Jos Junction needs to be altered. “The metro alignment at the junction has a 90-metre radius now and this has to be increased to 120 metres so that the trains can safely negotiate the curve. We have to see whether other curves have to be straightened,” said a DMRC source.

They added that the agency is awaiting the details of the study by Cusat on metro stations. “We have given our land requirements to the KMRL and the District Collector.”

NH widening

A total of 1.70 hectares will be required for widening narrow portions of the Aluva-Edapally NH (in picture above), which is not mentioned in the DPR prepared by DMRC. “Two-lane traffic has to be ensured in each direction when work on the metro pillars is on and some narrow portions might have to be widened,” said the Kochi project director of the National Highways Authority of India C. T. Abraham

Another crucial road that is awaiting widening is the extremely narrow Vytilla-Pettah Road. Land acquisition has been delayed here because a few land owners are against widening the road to 30 metres.

Fifty-five hectares is scheduled to be acquired for establishing a metro village in Muttom near Aluva, while eight hectares has been earmarked in Kakkanad for developing a business hub.

Survey awaited

February 2013 has been set as the deadline to acquire all the plots required for the metro. “We can begin the survey only when the alignment is finalised. The compensation will be decided by the tahsildar’s report. We now suggest the market value of land, while tenants are given three months to vacate,” said sources associated with the land-acquisition process.

More funds required

The land required to widen the Town Hall-Madhava Pharmacy Junction stretch, M. G. Road and the Jos Junction-Ernakulam South Railway Station Road into four-lane is expected to be acquired by November, for which 58 owners have given the letter of consent. A land acquisition official said the government has so far given only about Rs 15 crore of the approximately Rs 80 crore required to compensate land owners.

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