Relief package soon; land for acquisition to be demarcated

The 46 cents of land that will be acquired for building the Pachalam overbridge will be demarcated within three days. A relief and rehabilitation package too will be announced shortly. These decisions were taken at a meeting convened in Kochi on Thursday by District Collector M.G. Rajamanickam in which representatives of traders, residents, DMRC and KMRL participated. This followed stiff opposition from traders and residents to the take-over of their land for the bridge and service road even before a compensation package was announced and demarcation stones were laid.

KMRL sources said that State government would shortly release funds to compensate land owners. In the meantime, test piling for the bridge continued on Thursday.

This will be followed by shifting of utilities and subsequently piling will begin, said DMRC sources. The level crossing has been closed, following which motorists have been advised to take alternative routes. Land acquisition for the bridge is minimal and is confined to Vaduthala side of the bridge. A major chunk of land that would be acquired will be for constructing a 4.5-metre service road on the bridge’s eastern side, where one-way traffic will be in place. The bridge’s carriageway will be 7.5 metres wide. There will be a 1.5- metre-wide footpath on the western side.

Closure opposed

In another development, a section of the traders of the Pachalam market obstructed the attempts to close down the trade centre by the Revenue officials of the Kochi Corporation on Thursday.

The officials made the attempt following the orders from the Sate Human Rights Commission and the Kerala State Pollution Control Board. It was on a petition from one of the residents of the area citing the unhygienic conditions of the market that the commission issued the order.

Delina Pinheiro, the councillor representing the area in the Kochi Corporation Council, said the market cannot be closed down without rehabilitating the traders.

Currently, there is no need for closing down the market as the situation has improved there. If the local body was keen on closing it down, it could be done only after providing alternative space for the 27 traders of the market, she said.

Incidentally, the Kochi Corporation had not renewed the licence of the traders this year as it had decided to pull down the shutters.

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