Rail India Technical and Economic Services (RITES) will conduct a feasibility study on extending the Kochi Metro to Kakkanad, the international airport and West Kochi in the project’s second phase.

The report will be ready within seven months. The agency will be paid Rs. 6.57 crore for conducting the study.

This was decided at Kochi Metro Rail Limited’s (KMRL) 13th Director Board meeting here on Friday.

Feeder services

Addressing media persons, Union Urban Development Secretary Sudhir Krishna, who chaired the meeting said the proposed extensions would be complemented by a network involving mono rail, tram ways and bus rapid transport. “They will operate as feeder services to the metro. With the aim of ensuring seamless, end-to-end connectivity, the possibility of introducing a single ticket for travelling in the greater Kochi area in different modes of transport is being probed.”

For instance, a mono-rail could operate as feeder service to the metro from Athani, if the metro is extended from Aluva to Angamaly.

Mr. Krishna said the recently formed Urban Metropolitan Transport Authority (UMTA) for Kochi, with KMRL’s MD Elias George as chairman, would bring different stakeholders in the transportation sector under one umbrella.

The Board also approved a transit-oriented development (TOD) plan around the 25-km-long Aluva-Pettah metro corridor.

Under this, there will be mixed land use within one km of the corridor. To a question on the possibility of offices and commercial establishments coming up in residential areas, Mr. Krishna said separate areas would be designated for non-residential structures.

To a question on the delay in undertaking piling works, Mr. Krishna said the Board would frequently review work targets and achievements. A software is being developed to monitor this.

On difference of opinion with local trade unions, he said it occurred due to a communication gap and has been ironed out. “Special officers will be appointed to ensure compliance with labour welfare rules, while another will ensure that the metro is accessible to disabled persons.”

Under the interim relief and rehabilitation programme announced by the Board, people who surrender land will be given a one-time shifting allowance. The compensation package would be aligned with the State policy, Mr. George said.

Tenants of shops will be given monthly compensation for six months, while employees of minor establishments that are acquired will be given Rs. 6,000 each for six months.

The district-level purchase committee will decide the compensation amount for places of worship, while KMRL Director (Finance) and District Collector will consider special cases where the compensation is below Rs.10 lakh. The Board will finalise amounts above Rs.10 lakh.

Budget

The Board meeting on Friday also gave the nod for KMRL’s budget worth Rs.1,990.16 crore for 2013-14.

The State and the Centre will give their equity share of Rs. 233.87 crore each, while the loan component is Rs. 392.62 crore.

The metro’s total project cost increased from Rs.5,182 crore to Rs. 5,537.25 crore. The incidental expenses of Rs. 251.52 crore will be used mainly for acquiring land at Muttom (for the coach repair yard).

Mr. Krishna said an independent agency would monitor the safety and quality of metro works. A global tender will be floated to identify it. The agency will inspect metro’s inventory, workmanship etc.

Edappally flyover

The State government has given administrative sanction for constructing Edappally flyover at a cost of Rs.108.77 crore. Kerala Road Fund Board will give Rs.50 crore, while KMRL will give Rs. 30 crore, the cost of the metro-rail pillars and viaduct that will pass through the centre.

The NHAI has sought widening of junctions along the Edappally-Aluva corridor, ahead of metro’s piling works.

Mr. George said the KMRL would have a new website within a month, aimed at ensuring transparency in its functioning and in award of contracts.

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