Unwarranted interference from unions in metro work, say contractors

Taken aback by hurdles posed by trade unions to the smooth progress of Kochi Metro’s works, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has sought the intervention of the District Administration and the Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL).

This was after contractors — most of them players in the national level — expressed shock and dismay at the loss of man days because of the unrelenting attitude of a section of head load and construction workers. They took up the matter with DMRC officials, who in turn assuaged them. “Collector Sheikh Pareeth and KMRL’s MD Elias George have assured all help in tiding over the situation, since undue interference by trade unions is affecting the pace of piling and casting works. Yielding to their pressure will also increase the metro’s project cost,” metro stakeholders said.

Contractors are especially put off by demands raised by head load workers since most of the process is mechanised. Currently, casting works have almost come to a standstill because of unwarranted interference from regional-level unions. “Already the delay in undertaking works has led to loss worth many lakhs of rupees. Contractors fear that this would run into a few crores if damage control is not done at the earliest. If others fail, Labour Minister Shibu Baby John might have to intervene,” sources said.

Already, heavy rain has affected the pace of levelling the metro’s coach-maintenance yard at Muttom. Widening of narrow portions of the Aluva-Edappally stretch too has been affected. Still, excavation, trimming of trees and work to remove hoardings are on.

Second piling site

In the meantime, a 200-metre-reach near Aluva bridge is being barricaded for commencing piling on the Aluva-Edappally stretch. A rig has been positioned. Another rig too has been pressed into service on the stretch, for piling work. The fifteenth pile got over at the first piling site near Changampuzha Park, on the Edappally-international stadium stretch. L &T is building the viaduct and stations on the two stretches.

With work along MG Road set to commence after Onam, Soma Constructions is likely to begin piling on the Town Hall-Kacheripady stretch. Era Constructions will begin test piling at Vytilla Mobility Hub in a few days and soil test is under way at a few places on the South Railway station-Pettah reach.

Keywords: Kochi metro railKMRLDMRC

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