This apart, plans are afoot to have a few commercial stalls in each of the 22 station buildings of Kochi metro-rail. There are also plans to develop a few hectares of land adjacent to the metro’s coach-maintenance yard in Muttom near Aluva as commercial space.

The Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) is awaiting a Government Order (G.O.) to develop 33 acres of land in Kakkanad as a business hub.

This apart, plans are afoot to have a few commercial stalls in each of the 22 station buildings of Kochi metro-rail. There are also plans to develop a few hectares of land adjacent to the metro’s coach-maintenance yard in Muttom near Aluva as commercial space.

The revenue from the hub, stalls and other commercial centres will be used by the State Government to fund its share (Rs 2,010 crore) in the Kochi metro rail project. “The funds are also expected to help the metro-rail project achieve break-even stage at the earliest. The Rs 2,170-crore loan that will be taken from the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has to be repaid in 30 years by the State government. Initially, there will be a 10-year moratorium for the repayment,” sources said.

The area in Kakkanad now houses the NGO quarters, many of which are in a dilapidated condition. “Once the G.O. is ready, we will entrust a project-design consultant to work out plans to develop the area into a business hub. Care will be taken so that there is optimal generation of revenue from the land,” they said.

The project would benefit IT professionals and others who will be able to purchase goods and avail themselves of other services from their vicinity in Kakkanad, instead of commuting to the city through congested roads.

As for the metro-station-linked commercial stalls, there are plans to open eateries, kiosks and book shops in them.

On the question of shifting utilities like street lights, cables, pipelines, from road medians and from the side of roads that have to be widened, the KMRL has sought estimates from the departments and local bodies concerned. The agency is likely to arrange for the relocating works, so that there is no delay in the process.

“The plan is to relocate the utilities within three months, prior to the deadline for land acquisition expiring in December,” sources associated with the project said.

Once this is over, the Town Hall-Kacheripady stretch of Banerjee Road, narrow portions of the M G Road, the Jos Junction-Ernakulam Junction railway station stretch and the Vytilla-Pettah Road will be widened into four-lane.

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