M.G. Road will be closed to traffic as part of the preparatory work for the Kochi Metro Rail on Saturday night.

The road will remain closed between 9 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. on Sunday for the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) to detect the underground sewage lines. This is crucial before launching the piling works in the stretch along the M.G. Road.

Though the district administration and the police have asked DMRC to complete the work within the allotted time, it may stretch beyond that if the rain plays spoilsport. DMRC has decided to press in extra workers and equipment for the time-bound completion of work, which may witness the excavation of medians. The work will be launched from near the Doraiswamy Crossroad.

Though DMRC had undertaken excavation along the eastern side of Padma Junction earlier this month, the water and sewage pipelines of the Kerala Water Authority remained elusive.

Meanwhile, labour dispute has raised its head in connection with the construction of the casting yard of Kochi Metro at Kalamassery. The contractor concerned had been unloading the loads using the crane much to the chagrin of workers affiliated to STU and INTUC who had been claiming the right to work. In between, the workers reportedly unloaded a consignment forcibly.

On Thursday after the contractor had unloaded a consignment of steel, the workers reached the site and demanded that they be paid for all the unloading done so far. Following this the contractor cancelled the arrival of three loads to the site scheduled for the day.

However, the STU-affiliated State Head Load and General Workers Federation in a release alleged the contractor of deploying migrant workers for unloading. The federation asked the authorities concerned to intervene, which it said amounted to denial of right of workers under the head load workers welfare board.

The federation claimed that the workers had unloaded 12 loads without even waiting for a decision on the wage out of good intention that the Kochi Metro project should not be disrupted even for a day. The workers had cooperated trusting the assurance to hold discussions about their wage.

However, the contractor violated this understanding by unloading the steel brought to the site on Thursday using migrant workers, the release alleged.

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