Kochi Metro: Next Director Board to take up RITES report

Kochi: A board of directors meet of the Kochi Metro Rail will be convened “at the earliest” to take up the “preliminary report” of RITES for discussion and approval, it was decided at a high-level meet attended by DMRC Principal Advisor E Sreedharan here on Wednesday.

The RITES report submitted on Tuesday recommended, among other things, extension of the Metro to Tripunithura in the first phase itself and estimated the cost at Rs 200 crore.

Sreedharan held discussions with the KMRL MD Elias George and RITES officials on various aspects of the report on Wednesday, especially on the route proposed for the second phase expansion.

Approval of the Union and State governments and that of the KMRL director board is mandatory before including the Pettah-Tripunithura extension in Phase 1 itself.

The RITES, in its report, had warned against further delay citing that only 59 per cent commuters depended on public transport in Kochi at present compared to 70 per cent 12 years ago.

The figure is likely to drop to 50 per cent unless mass rapid transport systems like Metro and monorail are introduced at the earliest.

Talks Begin to Fix Land Value

Discussions have begun for fixing the value of land to be acquired for the second phase of metro rail stations to be constructed as part of the Kochi Metro rail project. A meeting, headed by District Collector P.I.Sheik Pareeth, was held on Thursday to discuss the land value fixed by the district-level purchase committee (DLPC). The DLPC is entrusted with the responsibility to fix the value of land to be acquired for setting up of metro rail stations. Stations at Pathadipalom, Maharaja’s College and Palarivattom are the second phase stations.Metro Deputy Collector and Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) officials attended the meeting. As much as 0.6055-ha land will be acquired for the station at Pathadipalom, 0.28844 ha for Maharaja’s College and 0.1775 ha for Palarivattom. According to the officials, discussions on land acquisition for metro rail stations will be completed within a week and the district administration will strive to hand over the land to the KMRL very soon. Land for the first phase of metro stations has already been handed over to the KMRL. In the first phase, metro stations will come up at Muttom, Ambattukavu, Edappally, Changampuzha park, Thykoodom and Cusat. The KMRL has already handed over the land for the extension of Banerjee Road, MG Road and South Railway Station Road. The widening work at Banerjee Road is going on in full swing. Also, land acquired at North RoB and Muttom metro yard has been handed over to the DMRC. Land acquisition for second- phase metro stations is part of the final phase of land acquisition projects of the district administration. Once the district administration concludes talks with landowners, immediate steps to hand over 80 per cent of the money for the acquired land will be initiated. The district administration will then submit the rest of the money for the approval of the state-level purchase committee and once they receive the approval, the rest of the money will be handed over to the landowners.