Land acquisition in Kochi awaits central nod

Kochi: Though the state government has given approval for the extension of Metro rail to Kakkanad, the land acquisition process is yet to begin. According to revenue officials, Kochi Metro Rail Ltd (KMRL) will be able to request the department to start land acquisition procedures only after the Union government gives its nod.

“Once the Union government gives its nod, revenue department will complete land survey on the basis of the alignment approved by KMRL. The 6(1) notification, the letter informing landowners about taking over the land for the project will be issued by the revenue department,” a revenue official said.

Moreover, the mode of taking over the land will have to be decided. “As the state government is yet to frame the rule of new Land Acquisition Act of the Union government in 2014, there is confusion regarding the method to be followed while acquiring the land. Decisions like purchasing land directly from the owner also are to be made,” a revenue official said.

Meanwhile, the revenue officials have expedited the acquisition of land for Metro in south railway station area. Landowners in the areas have already been given notice to surrender their land within a fortnight. “Moreover, we went and met most of the landowners and tenants in person and asked them to surrender the land by Saturday,” said the official.

But many of the landowners are not ready to move out. “One of the main reasons they cite is the failure of KMRL in providing rehabilitation package for landowners and tenants who moved out for widening Kaloor-Deshabhimani stretch on Banerji Road. While moving out, landowners and tenants were offered rehabilitation package. Later, the Metro agency backed out,” sources with revenue department said.

Landowners had come out with protest against acquiring land for widening Vyttila-Pettah Road without giving rehabilitation package. Later, KMRL announced rehabilitation package for landowners in Vyttila-Pettah area.