Kochi Metro Rail project could save time with Special Team for Land Acquisition

कोची Kochi:  Land Acquisition, a key reason behind delays in the Kochi Metro project could have been dealt with in an effective manner if an idea mooted by E Sreedharan was implemented.

The principal adviser of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), E Sreedharan, had mooted forming a special dedicated team for the land acquisition for Kochi Metro Rail project. His idea was to appoint a special team for the land acquisition for the stations, widening of roads and casting yard.

He was of the opinion that if a normal procedure is followed, the completion of land acquisition within the scheduled deadline will be hard to achieve.

DMRC authorities said that except on the fourth reach of the Kochi Metro Rail, ie between Ernakulam South to Petta, the work is progressing in a satisfactory manner.

The agency, according to officials, is at present focusing on some key works that need to be completed before the monsoon.

The DMRC needs to do land filling in a total of 1.5 lakh cubic meter land out of the 5.3 lakh cubic metre land as part of the construction of the Muttom Coach maintenance yard. This work is to be competed by May. The piling work for the maintenance depot building at Muttom had also begun while the work for linking the coaching yard to NH, the piling work for the via duct construction in these area and the construction of underpass is also progressing.

“The area is easily vulnerable to water logging and we will have to complete these works at Muttom before the onset of Monsoon.  But the unexpected delays like the one that happened on Wednesday will definitely affect the deadline and plans,” said a KMRL official.

As per the available data, the land acquisition between Aluva and Palarivattam has almost completed. In between the Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium and Ernakulam North, the land need to be acquired at Deshabhimani junction and near the RBI regional office near Lissie jn. The work at Banerjee Road is progressing and the shifting of utilities are already over. The other related works that need to be completed are the widening of Edappally-Palarivattam Road, the acquisition of land at some areas between Jose Jn and Ernakulam South and the land near Manorama Jn.

On the progress of the civil works, nearly 50 per cent of the work has already been completed at the stretch between Aluva and Kalamassery. Four Pier Caps have already been launched at Pulinchode. In the stretch between Kalamasseery and Palarivattam, seven pier caps were launched near CUSAT. Between Stadium and Ernakulam North, the work is in progress for launching pre-fabricated pier caps will be launched soon.

However, the fourth reach still remains a major hurdle as the land acquisition for the widening of the Vyttila-Petta Road is yet to be initiated.

“The District Collector has earlier promised that the land acquisition need to be completed within three months. We hope that the procedures will be completed within the stipulated time,” sources said.

KMRC seeks Nod to buy Land directly from Owners

कोची Kochi:  With the delay in land acquisition throwing a spanner in the plan to complete the prestigious Kochi Metro Rail project by 2016, the Kochi Metro Rail Ltd (KMRL) has requested the state government to allow it to purchase land from the owners directly.

Though nearly 80 per cent of the land for the project was acquired last year, the district administration has been facing hurdles in the acquisition of the remaining 20 per cent land after the amendment of the Land Acquisition Act.

The KMRL too is finding it difficult to meet the time frame as under the new Act, as the land acquisition has become more time-consuming.

The 120-year-old Land Acquisition Act was amended last year and the new Act regulates land acquisition and lays down rules for granting compensation, rehabilitation and resettlement to the affected persons.

“It is really not the Act but the time-consuming procedures that are delaying the acquisition.

“If we can purchase land directly, the procedures will be minimum.

“We have already submitted a proposal before the state government. As for the rehabilitation and resettlement emphasized in the new Act, we have already entrusted a consultancy with the task of framing a proper plan.

“The rehabilitation study report is expected to be submitted by May-end. And once the Board approves it, we will provide rehabilitation packages to the affected owners,” KMRL MD Elias George said.

He said that if the government gave the nod for the proposal, the land will be acquired as per the rates fixed by the District-level Purchasing Committee (DLPC), based on the existing land value in the area.

The same will be submitted before the State-level Empowered Committee and once its nod is received, Kochi Metro Rail Limited will provide the funds to DLPC.

The ownership of the land will then be transferred to KMRL.

Raising concerns over the land acquisition hurdles at the Muttom coach maintenance yard, George said that KMRL had already requested Minister-in-charge of Metro Rail Aryadan Mohammed and Revenue Minister Adoor Prakash to convene a meeting to speed up the acquisition process.