With the construction work of Kochi Metro Rail kick starting, the authorities are all set to expedite the land acquisition procedures for the project.
District Collector P I Sheikh Pareeth said though land acquisition procedures are complicated, they do not expect much hurdles in the process. He added that as much as `500 crore will be spent to acquire land for the metro stations and its parking areas.
“We would acquire a total of 25 acres from seven villages. Land value has been fixed for three metro stations, including Edappally North, Edappally South and Kaloor. The land value for the remaining stations will be fixed after conducting a meeting with land owners in the area,” he said. The collector added that meetings with land owners will be held within a month.
“We will offer decent price to people who are willing to give up their land for the project. Moreover, if there is any debate on land value, the district administration has the power to acquire land for ‘ponnum-vila’ (premium price),” he said.
He said the land acquisition to widen the roads as part of the project will commence only after completing the land acquisition for metro stations. “The price of the land to be acquired for widening the road has been fixed for the stretch from Aluva to Vyttila. However, the land value is yet to be decided for the Vyttila-Pettah stretch,” he added.
Sheik Pareeth said that earlier there were protests from residents against land acquisition along the stretch. “The protest of the residents was against the decision to widen the roads by acquiring 30 metres of land. However, we have resolved the issue by taking a decision to acquire only 26 metres. A meeting with the residents will be conducted after a month and a total of `20 lakh a cent has been offered,” he said. Meanwhile, the Vyttila-Pettah Road Action Council members said they were expecting more than 20 lakh for land in the area. “We will raise the demand before district administration authorities in the nest meeting,” said A B Sabu, action council leader and former Corporation opposition leader.
Extension pf Metro rail sought
The Kochi Metro Rail Action Council on Friday organized a ‘dharna’ at Statue Junction here demanding the extension of Kochi Metro Rail from Pettah to Tripunithura in its first phase on Friday.
The ‘dharna’ was inaugurated by P Rajeev M P. He said the delay in extending the Metro Rail from Pettah to Tripunithura will cause a huge revenue loss for the state government. “The extension should be conducted in its first phase itself. As per the estimation of Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL), the extension in its first phase will take only `300 crore. Now, the authorities are spending more than `300 just for acquiring land from the area. If the extension conducted in the first phase, the authorities can avoid the huge land acquisition. The additional expenditure for extending Metro in the second phase can be avoided. Moreover, the area does not have the space to accommodate the required facilities such as a Metro station-cum-commercial complex, parking area for commuters and loco service station,” he said.
He said that the extension of Metro Rail from Petta to Tripunithura will be economically viable for the project. “Currently, there are concerns that the project will not be financially profitable. If it is extended to Tripunithura, the people from eastern side including Muvattupuzha, Kolenchery, Ambalamugal industrial area, Smart City, Infopark,Kakkakkanad, can board the Metro from the area. Moreover, the Metro rail will get a connection with Tripunithura Railway station and proposed bus terminal in the area,” he added. Tripunithura Municipal Chairman R Venugopal was also present.
The action council includes members of Tripunithura Rajanagari Union of Residents Association, Merchants Union Tripunithura, Lions Club Tripunithura and Senior Citizens Forum Tripunithura.