KERALA

Rail link to Vallarpadam: land acquisition process to continue

Staff Reporter

Government ready for negotiations on rehabilitation

Land acquired for six-lane National Highway link to Vallarpadam at Kalamassery Technical work for land survey for rail line likely to be completed by end of the week

KOCHI: The State Government is open to negotiations on the rehabilitation of people affected by the acquisition of land for the proposed rail link to the Vallarpadam International Container Transshipment Terminal (ICTT) project, said the District Collector A.P.M. Mohammed Hanish here on Wednesday.

The Collector was speaking at a function organised to mark the handing over of land for the six-lane national highway link to Vallarpadam at Kalamassery.

He said the process of survey for acquiring land for the rail link would continue uninterrupted. He expressed the hope that the technical work for the survey would be completed by the end of this week.

The Collector said that opposition to building the rail line by a group of people was quite natural but that the District Administration was in the process of overcoming the hurdles to realising the project.

Documents for more than three acres of land for the proposed national highway link to the ICTT project site was handed over by the District Collector to Cochin Port Trust Chairman N. Ramachandran on Wednesday. Top officials of the Port Trust were present at the brief function.

Emergency clause

The District Administration had on Tuesday said the urgency clause in the Land Acquisition Act would be invoked to see that the land meant for the rail line from Edappally to Vallarpadam was acquired without delay. The emergency clause would be invoked to remove hurdles to the process of acquiring the land.

Boost to project

The handing over of land for the six-lane road is the first concrete step in the process of building infrastructure for the transshipment terminal project. Both road and rail links to the project are conditions set by the private company for building the Vallarpadam facility.

The first lot of the land for the road link was handed over at a simple function organised on the Sree Chithra Mills premises at Kalamassery. Documents for 3.48 acres of land were handed over to the Port Trust.

Road link

With the handing over of the land the work on the road link is expected to begin in the first week of December with the National Highways Authority of India set to tender the work immediately.

It is expected that the National Highway link can be inaugurated in April 2009.

The total length of the road that will link the ICTT site to National Highway 47 will be 17.2 km. The road will have a width ranging from 45 m to 65 m.

About 100 acres from seven villages is being acquired for the road. The land handed over to the Port Trust on Wednesday belonged to 11 persons near the Sree Chithra Mills.

The District Collector said that about 20 acres was expected to be acquired and handed over to the port authorities in the coming days.

The process of land acquisition was speeded up because the Port Trust had handed over money required for the purpose to the District Administration, said a communication from the District Information Office here.

A.M. Yusuf, MLA, presided over the function. V.M. Areefa, chairman of the Kalamassery Municipality, and Subhash Kumar, Port Trust Deputy Chairman, were among those who participated in the function.

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