Staff Reporter

KOCHI: The decks have been cleared for setting up the rail and road connectivity to the proposed Vallarpadam Container Terminal project with the Ernakulam district administration completing the land acquisition for the project on Tuesday.

The administration fulfilled the assurance given by the Chief Minister in the Assembly that the land acquisition for the road and rail links will be completed before July 15.

Addressing a press conference here, District Collector M. Beena said that 4.30 hectares earmarked for the rail connectivity was transferred to the Rail Vikas Nigam Ltd on Tuesday. About 144 families in four villages — Edapally North and South, Mulavukad and Cheranalloor — agreed to hand over the land for the project. The district administration has already got possession of the 43.75 hectares for the road link.

Dr. Beena said 183 families have given written assurance agreeing to hand over their land for the road connectivity. The registration process for the road link will be completed soon and it will be handed over to the National Highway Authority of India, she said.

Promising that the rehabilitation process of those who lost their land for the project would be competed before July 19, Dr. Beena said the drawing of lots for the allocation of plots to the displaced will be held soon. The land will be handed over to them within two months.

Rehabilitation

Congratulating the revenue and other officials of the district for their concerted efforts to complete the land acquisition process, Dr. Beena said the rehabilitation process was also progressing fast even though the High Court had set January 15, 2009 as the deadline for the completion of the rehabilitation process.

Revenue officials said those who had been residing at Edapally North and South will be rehabilitated at Thuthiyoor near Kakkanad, while those residing at Cheranalloor and Vaduthala will be rehabilitated at Cheranalloor itself. Mulavukad residents will also be rehabilitated at plots identified at Mulavukad.

The maximum price earmarked for a cent of land acquired for the rail connectivity was Rs. 5.24 lakh while the minimum price was Rs. 98,610. For the road link, the maximum price was Rs. 5.50 lakh while the minimum price was Rs. 1 lakh.

More In: Today's Paper