THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Bad news for city residents. The Light Metro project is likely to be delayed further as the state government is yet to constitute a survey team to decide on land acquisition. The much delayed project received a boost after the inauguration of Kochi Metro when the government issued an order to reconstitute a 27-member team of revenue officers headed by a Deputy Collector. But, the Deputy Collector is yet to assume position.
“The order said the team should be constituted through reallocation of officers,” a Collectorate employee told Express. “The district does not have enough officers to meet the demand.”This is the second time a special team has been constituted. The first team was formed after a meeting was convened under Minister for PWD in January to hasten land acquisition. But the revenue officers in the team were redeployed as the state waited for the Central Government’s approval for the project.
Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), the interim consultant for the project, is still demarcating land to be acquired for the flyovers at Sreekaryam, Ulloor and Pattom along NH 66. Once demarcated, the land will be acquired by the Revenue Department.
“The Chief Minister and other ministers have been positive about the project,” said a DMRC officer. “Somehow, the enthusiasm is not trickling down to the level of the officers.” Each day’s delay could cost anywhere between Rs 75 lakh and Rs 1 crore. The project cost of Rs 4,219 crore was calculated in 2014 and it would have escalated by at least Rs 1,000 crore by now, he said.