Call to dismantle bund beneath rail link in Kochi

Close on the heels of a high-level meeting chaired by Minister for Industries P. Rajeeve deciding on Friday to examine the technical and legal aspects of dismantling a temporary bund built in 2009 as part of constructing the rail link to the Vallarpadam container transshipment terminal, demand is rife that disaster management funds or the Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund (CMDRF) be released to dismantle the structure which has been causing floods in Kalamassery, Eloor, Aluva, and Mupathadam.

The meeting, which was attended by Cochin Port Trust (CPT) chairperson M. Beena and District Collector Jafar Malik, held that urgent measures should be taken to ensure that water from the Periyar flowed unhindered into the sea, failing which floods would occur.

A study report prepared by the Irrigation Department in June this year had said that the inordinate delay in dismantling the bund and the subsequent accumulation of vast amounts of construction debris were to blame for the areas getting flooded often.

Greater Cochin Development Watch, a city-based NGO which has been in the forefront of seeking speedy dismantling of the bund, has demanded that the expenses be borne from the CMDRF. “This is crucial because a litigation in this regard is pending before court. Both Rail Vikas Nigam Limited [RVNL] and the contracting firm which executed the rail connectivity work are responsible for the situation. The intense flooding in the municipal areas could have been averted if RVNL had acted in time and dismantled the bund a decade ago when the rail connectivity was established,” said Ebenser Chullikkat, an office-bearer of the NGO.

This is relevant, since the company which built the railway bridge linking the container transshipment terminal had contended that RVNL had issued them a document certifying that it was “taking over” the structure, in 2010, he added.

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Printable version | Dec 9, 2021 8:08:25 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/call-to-dismantle-bund-beneath-rail-link-in-kochi/article37153876.ece

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