It seems that the plan of the district administration to complete the land acquisition procedures for the road widening works on the Vyttila-Petta stretch at the earliest, to facilitate the construction of the Kochi Metro rail, has suffered a major setback right in the initial stage of implementation. It is learnt that the first round of meeting held recently between the district-level purchase committee (DLPC), headed by District Collector P I Sheik Pareeth, and the landowners, to fix the value of the land to be acquired from the stretch, ended without reaching any consensus.
Though the DLPC has offered a total of `18 lakh per cent for the land, for the middle portion of the stretch (excluding Vyttila Junction and Petta Junction), the landowners have reportedly refused the offer.
Sources said that though it is mandatory for the landowners to surrender the land, they are in the final round of bargaining to get the maximum price for their land, even as the district administration started to speed up the land acquisition procedure.
Meanwhile, Land Acquisition (LA) Deputy Collector Mohandas Pillai has said that the purchase committee will organise another meeting next week with the landowners to sort out the issues.
“We will continue the talks with the landowners till we reach a consensus. The district administration is hopeful of finding an amicable solution to the issue, considering the demand of the landowners soon,” he said. He also said that the 3.5 km stretch has been divided into three categories to implement the land acquisition procedure.
“Vyttila Junction and Petta Junction will be considered as the first and second category respectively, for the land acquisition. The middle portion of the stretch will be considered as the third category. The land acquisition value will be fixed differently, considering the market value of the category. We will hold separate meetings with the landowners of the three categories before finalising the land value,” Pillai said.
Meanwhile, PWD Executive Engineer P A Hashim said that a detailed plan has been made to carry out the widening of the stretch.
“Two hectares of land will be acquired from the 3.5 km stretch. An estimate of `120 crore has been submitted before for the purpose. The state has already allotted `70 crore and the remaining fund will be allotted in April 2014. The PWD has received a total of `30 lakh to implement the widening work on the stretch,” Hashim said.