KOCHI: Road widening works between Vyttila and Pettah as part of preparing the ground for the Kochi metro rail extension is likely to gather momentum with the district administration gearing up to hand over the entire lot of 183.52 cents to be acquired along the stretch by December.
While widening works between Vyttila and Champakkara bridge has been progressing, work beyond that up to Pettah is yet to be kick-started.
Of the total 85 landholdings to be acquired along the Vyttila-Pettah route, owners of 22 landholdings accounting for 32.41 cents have already given their consent letters.
“We will start distributing their compensation within weeks. Steps have been initiated to acquire the remaining land under the Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act (LARRA), 2013, and the entire land will be handed over to Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) by December,” District Collector K. Mohammed Y. Safirulla told.
Acquisition along the Vyttila-Pettah stretch for Kochi metro was the first to be undertaken in the State invoking the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency under LARRA and involved a social impact assessment study.
Over 151 cents spread over 63 holdings remain to be acquired along the Vyttila-Pettah stretch. KMRL sources said road widening works between Champakkara bridge and Pettah had been stalled.
Widening of the Champakkara bridge by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) also remains to be undertaken as part of the larger preparatory works for the metro rail project.
Once the acquisition along the Vyttila-Pettah stretch is completed, the district administration will turn its attention to the acquisition of land for the Pettah-Thripunithura stretch of the metro. A total of 370.65 cents have to be acquired along the stretch in two lots of 143.04 cents and 228.02 cents respectively.
Rajagiri Outreach, which has been entrusted with undertaking the SIA, had already conducted a public hearing on September 2 and published a draft SIA report. The final report is likely to be published shortly.
Meanwhile, an agency has been appointed for SIA as a prelude to the land acquisition along the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium-Kakkanad stretch of the metro. Over 705 cents have to be acquired along the stretch. KMRL sources said they could launch road widening works if land was made available at the earliest.