The dawn-to-dusk hartal called by the Left Democratic Front (LDF) in the state affected the work of the Kochi Metro Rail in Kochi on Monday. Work sites of the four reaches wore a deserted look till six pm.
However, the work resumed in the evening hours, DMRC officials said.
According to officials, metro contractors did not take up any work at the sites since transportation of earth and other materials required for piling and concreting works was impossible due to the hartal.
There were fears that the lorries used for soil transportation would be pelted at or prevented from reaching their destination by hartal supporters.
Also, there were reports that a few local workers employed at the work sites were not willing to take up work due to political affiliations.
The L&T, which has undertaken the work between Aluva and Kalamassery, had initially decided to undertake the work despite the hartal. However, they later backtracked from the decision owing to the consequences.
Work has been moving on smoothly between Aluva and Kalamassery, Changampuzha park reach, Kaloor and MG Road and any delay or obstruction in the work at these sites is a major cause of concern for the DMRC.
Era Constructions are also ensuring speedy work at the Vyttila mobility hub.
Even though hartals had been called in the past after the Kochi metro rail project had kicked off, Monday’s hartal bore greater ramifications since the work in the four reaches is currently moving on in full progress, unlike in the past.
Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) Managing Director Elias George said that a day’s delay caused to the work of the Kochi metro will have great financial consequences, besides slowing down the progress of the work.
Admitting that the government had been confident initially that the Kochi metro rail work would not be affected despite the state and district hartals, Transport Minister Aryadan Mohammed said the issue would be taken up seriously.
“There were fears that the work would be disrupted in spite of the DMRC’s keen interest to take up the work despite the hartal. If Monday’s hartal had affected the work, there are chances that the work would be prevented during other days when hartal is called. This will be taken up as a serious matter,” he said.