Maharaja College hands over land for Kochi Metro station

Kochi: Maharaja’s College handed over 16.4 cents to Kochi Metro for the construction of a station on the college ground near MG Road. The proposal spares the hockey ground as well as trees from being cut down.

The agreement was signed between college authorities and Kochi Metro Rail Ltd (KMRL) after holding discussions with principal, representatives of student unions and staff on Friday.

The decision by Maharaja’s College is in total contrast to the stand taken by the management of St Albert’s College, which is fighting tooth and nail the decision of Kochi Metro to acquire 40 cents for the construction of an Operation Control Centre (OCC) from the 4.67 acres leased to the institution near Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium, Kaloor.

“KMRL has kept land acquisition to the minimum. Earlier, we had suggested some changes to the proposal. The Metro agency incorporated our suggestions. So we have approved the sketch and signed the agreement,” Maharaja’s College principal Latha Raj P said. KMRL has informed college authorities that the escalators of the station would come up on the ground.

On its part, KMRL has agreed to renovate the men’s hostel, construct a women’s hostel and an astro turf for hockey, the principal said.

The agency has also agreed to level the dried muck dumped on the ground.

Kochi Metro’s contractor Soma Constructions had dumped the muck at the site.

“The college will submit a proposal to KMRL for levelling the ground using gravel and red earth,” said Latha.

Meanwhile, KMRL stated that the decision to take over land was taken based on directions passed at a meeting convened by the chief minister on October 31 in Kochi.