Kochi Metro: Hundred land owners accept package of compensation

Kochi:  Land acquisition for widening the Vyttila-Pettah Road into four-lane has got an impetus with around 100 land owners accepting the compensation package of Rs. 21 lakh per cent.

The compensation amount will be handed over within three months, so that Kochi Metro’s civil works can commence in the three-km-long road.

The compensation for land at junctions and a few other places will be fixed in the coming weeks, it was decided at a district-level purchase committee meeting held here on Monday evening.

On the PWD being unable to assess the compensation for buildings that will be demolished for the metro, it was decided to hand over the task to KITCO.

“The PWD has been asked to give a letter citing that it does not have the manpower for the purpose.”

On Tuesday evening, a review meeting was held to assess the progress of land acquisition in the Aluva-MG Road-Pettah metro corridor. Only 31 of the 40 hectares of land required for Kochi Metro’s viaduct and stations has been acquired so far, despite repeated revision of deadlines.

Metro officials sought speeding up of the land acquisition process, since DMRC is unable to begin civil works in roads and areas which have not been widened.

A senior revenue official said that though many owners handed over their lands for the metro, they were not paid compensation because of delay in file works. All pending dues will be cleared within three months, while people who gave their land for metro’s coach repair yard in Muttom will be compensated by April 15.

On delay in widening the narrow portions of the road obstructing movement of vehicles from Deshabhimani Junction up to Ernakulam North bridge, sources said that the matter would be taken up in right earnest with land owners.

KMRL’s managing director Elias George and District Collector M.G. Rajamanickam were among those who participated in the meeting.

DMRC had recently sought constitution of a dedicated land acquisition authority for Kochi Metro with special powers, since the process almost stalled despite repeated extension of deadlines.