Focus on reducing extent of land to be acquired for project
Fewer than 10 of the 22 stations proposed for the Kochi metro rail will have parking lots alongside.
The decision was taken due to the prohibitive cost of land acquisition along the metro’s alignment from Aluva to Pettah. Only prominent stations located near junctions will have parking lots, some of which may be multi-tier lots. This will reduce the amount of land to be acquired for the metro. The terminal stations — Aluva and Pettah — will have major parking lots attached.
The decision comes in the wake of a joint inspection of the station locales made recently by District Collector P.I. Sheikh Pareed, Kochi Metro Rail Limited managing director Elias George and Delhi Metro Rail Corporation’s Kochi project director P. Sriram.
The DMRC’s detailed project report mentions parking lots only at the two terminal stations. The KMRL entrusted Cochin University of Science and Technology with the task of doing a survey, following which it had been decided to have parking lots adjacent to all stations.
Multi-tier parking lots for all stations are not off the table yet. These may be established with private participation.
Feeder buses from stations are expected to connect the metro with other modes of transport, in keeping with the Union Urban Development Ministry’s policy to have seamless integration of transport modes — metro, bus, water and railway. The KMRL intends to ensure this at major points like Vyttila and Edappally.
Using vacant land
Some metro stations will be shifted by a few metres to make optimal use of vacant and ‘puramboke’ lands in the vicinity. The purpose is to decrease the number of buildings that have to be demolished. ‘Puramboke’ lands will also be used to rehabilitate traders and others who surrender their land for the metro, sources said.
A report and sketch prepared by the DMRC on the revised alignment will be handed over to Mr. George later this week. This will provide a clear picture of the total area of land required for the project.
On the proposal to widen narrow stretches of the Aluva-Edappally NH, sources in the KMRL said Mr. George would meet NHAI officials in New Delhi next week and hand over the proposals. Around 1.7 hectares of land is required for this.
Defence Minister A.K. Antony said there were several obstacles to the implementation of the Kochi metro rail and concerted efforts would be required to overcome them.
Interacting with the media on his arrival in the city late on Monday evening, Mr. Antony said he had been doing what he could for the successful implementation of the project.