Now, a resolution hurdle for Kochi Metro rail project

KOCHI: Signalling further delays in the execution of Kochi Metro rail project, Eloor municipality has passed a resolution blocking the entry of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation’s (DMRC) trucks carrying construction materials through Puthalamkadavu Road to the casting yard at FACT-owned land. Chairman Joseph Antony said the municipality took up the issue following public protests.

“The municipal council has passed a resolution blocking the entry of DMRC’s vehicles through the narrow road owned by the municipality. The movement of trucks and heavy vehicles could damage the road and cause inconvenience to the public. The municipality will inform the government and Metro agencies regarding the resolution,” he said. At present, trucks and other vehicles of both DMRC and its contractor were using the Puthalamkadavu Road to reach the yard.

In a letter to DMRC, public collective Janakiya Kootayima said that the Metro agency should avoid using the road and instead opt for an unused road available on FACT premises. They also pointed out that both Kerala water authority (KWA) and Hindustan Insecticides Ltd (HIL) have laid their underground pipelines along this road.

The letter also stated that the movement of heavy vehicles is not feasible since students of St Anne’s Public School, which is located nearby, use the road. Additionally, it was pointed out that dust and pollution issue are other public concerns.

Kochi Metro Rail Ltd (KMRL) has leased 4.0558 hectares from FACT to set up the casting yard. As per the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between both agencies, KMRL has to pay a lease amount of Rs 35 lakh per hectare every year. “As FACT gets a huge amount from KMRL they are bound to provide adequate facilities for Metro agencies,” said Antony.

Though Janakiya Kootayima insists on protecting trees on FACT compound, its members are aware of the requirement to cut down more trees to facilitate movement of trucks through old road in the company’s compound. “Yes, more trees will have to be cut down. But, DMRC should keep the inconvenience caused to the public at a minimum,” said Eloor municipality councillor M A Kalesan.