Kochi Metro assure to resolve impact of land reclamation at Muttom site

Kochi: Notwithstanding the intervention by the State Human Rights Commission, the Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) will go ahead with the Muttom yard project so as to complete its work in a time-bound manner.

“The KMRL has got a protocol for carrying out its works and whatever is required to neutralise the environmental impacts of land reclamation in Muttom will be done’’, said Elias George, Managing Director, KMRL. Admitting that land filling operations at the project site had caused water logging, he said the agency was undertaking a detailing work worth Rs.8.12 crore at the location to mitigate the impact of land reclamation.

The works include construction of new earthen drain along the western boundary depot and a concrete drain in addition to deepening and cleaning the existing canal on the eastern side. Further, pipe culverts, re-arranging of water pipelines and cleaning of choked culverts will also be carried out to facilitate the flow of flood water. The works are being initiated on the basis of a report submitted by a committee comprising representatives of the KMRL, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, the municipalities of Kalamassery and Aluva and Choornikkara panchayat. According to him, the project has got environmental clearance from the State government and it is being initiated after assessing its impact on the environment. The statement comes in the wake of a report by the secretary of Choornikkara panchayat submitted to State Human Rights Commission Chairman J.B. Koshy last week that no EIA (Environment Impact Assessment) had been done before reclaiming land at the project site at Chavarpadom.

The report also said that the work on the project had caused damage to houses and five roads in the area. Further, reclamation of land also posed a serious threat to the natural drainage system, raising concerns of water logging.

Following this, the commission has asked reports from the KMRL and DMRC with regard to the metro village project at the location. The issue will be taken up for consideration during the commission’s sitting next month.