The Hindu, Nov 30 2014, Kochi: Thirty-two cents of land belonging to textile chain Seematti at the northern end of M.G. Road will be acquired in a week under provisions of the Land Acquisition Act for the Kochi metro rail project, following failure of negotiations.
Metro sources said the decision was taken since a proposal to take over land without giving compensation, by permitting restricted parking of vehicles beneath the metro viaduct, did not materialise.
“Though we could have saved Rs. 18 crore compensation amount, we cannot compromise on safety and security of metro pillars and viaduct by permitting parking beneath the viaduct,” sources said.
A meeting between the managing director of Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL), Elias George, and the owner of Seematti, Beena Kannan, failed since there was no consensus regarding provisions of a proposed Memorandum of Understanding.
Most of the conditions put forward by Seematti were not agreeable to the KMRL, said a press release issued by the agency.
The present plan is to acquire land, even if the owner objects, by paying 80 per cent of the compensation amount in advance. A draft declaration for this is ready. Once land acquisition is over, the land becomes entirely that of the KMRL, they said.
Construction work on the north end of the M.G. Road suffered delay of over a year due to delay in acquiring the land owned by the textile shop.
Land belonging to other shops and buildings in the vicinity were acquired early this year.
Land for viaduct
Mr. George has said that land acquisition in the Aluva-Pettah metro corridor is in the final stage. “Of the total 1,414 pier locations, land is available for constructing 1,218 piers. One hundred and thirty four remains, mainly on the Vyttila-Pettah stretch where land acquisition to widen the road has not begun.”
Land has been acquired for 16 metro stations and their landings on either side. “Land for landing on one side of the metro corridor has been acquired for five stations, while acquisition for Pettah station has not begun,” Mr. George said.
Metro stations are located at a height on the centre of the road, while land has to be acquired for landings — used by commuters to reach the station and back — on either side.