The Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) will request the State government to fast-track the long-pending widening of Thammanam–Pullepady road and Vyttila-Petta road. The decision was taken here on Tuesday following a meeting to review progress of works for the Kochi metro.

The two roads, owned by the Kochi Corporation and the PWD respectively, were crucial for ensuring smooth flow of vehicles during Kochi metro’s construction and even later since they provided the much-needed east-west connectivity, stakeholders who participated in the meeting said. Minister for Transport Aryadan Mohammed emphasized the need to ensure minimal traffic diversion so that the public was not inconvenienced.

Project deadline

After detailed discussions, the participants were hopeful that that the first reach of the metro, 13 km from Aluva to Palarivattom, would be completed by December 2015, while the second reach up to Pettah would be ready by March 2016.

Land acquisition

District Collector P.I. Sheikh Pareeth assured Mr. Mohammed that the metro’s land acquisition process would be completed by the end of August this year. It was noted that 18 hectares of the 40 hectares required for the project had been handed over to the KMRL.

Addressing media persons, Mr. Mohammed expressed satisfaction at there being very little objection to acquiring land for the metro.

To a question on extending the metro up to Tripunithura in the project’s phase one, he said a study on the issue was on and a decision would be taken shortly.

Presentations on the project and the progress of works were made by Delhi Metro Rail Corporation’s (DMRC) Principal Advisor E. Sreedharan and MD of KMRL Elias George. The meeting also decided to fast-track the handing over of 11 tracts of government land required for the project.

M.G. Road works

Aimed at ensuring minimal inconvenience to road users and merchants, it was decided that the widening of narrow portions and construction of metro’s viaduct along M.G. Road would be taken up together so that the entire work would be completed by the earliest possible date. The district administration would convene a stakeholder meeting in this connection on July 27.

It was also decided that a definite action plan would be prepared for listing all utility lines and cables that would be relocated prior to metro’s civil works commencing in more parts of the alignment.

Trade union issues

Taking note of demands raised by head load workers unions for ‘nookukooli’ and regular jobs, the stakeholders opined that genuine concerns of the labour force and trade unions would be addressed in a reasonable and fair manner. But work would not be allowed to suffer because of any reason. It was also decided to have a reasonable labour policy regime and protocol for the project.

Mr. Mohammed cited the need for a permanent mechanism to settle labour-related issues.

Mr. Mohammed launched the revamped website of KMRL. Elaborating on the features, Mr. Elias George said it was in keeping with the agency’s information-push policy. “There is an ‘ideas box’ in which members of the public can submit suggestions,” he said.

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