The Times Of India, March 8 2014, Kochi: Amid concerns regarding the possible delay in commissioning the Kochi Metro rail due to unavailability of land, district collector M G Rajamanickam has said that the entire land for the project would be handed over to Kochi Metro Rail Ltd (KMRL) in three months.
Last week, DMRC chief adviser E Sreedharan had expressed concerns over delay in land acquisition along the Vyttila-Pettah stretch and said that the Metro rail along the stretch won’t be completed within the stipulated time. Rajamanickam said that around 70% of the land required for the project is in revenue department’s possession. “But we are yet to complete the procedures. Objection from a few persons poses a hindrance to land acquisition. If negotiations under fast-track scheme do not yield the desired results by the end of April, we will invoke Land Acquisition Act and take possession of the land,” said the collector.
“Though there was staff shortage, we have filled up the vacancies. A special team has been formed to ensure that the entire land is acquired in three months,” he said.
According to revenue officials, the major hurdle for completing the land acquisition along the Vyttila-Pettah stretch is the stiff opposition from some religious organizations to part with their land.
The land is acquired for widening the road which is a pre-requisite for starting the work on Metro rail. The collector said that he is yet to look into the issue.
On shopowners’ opposition stalling the works on Pachalam railway overbridge (ROB), he said the issue would be sorted out soon. “Officials have been given instructions to demarcate the land which is required for the project,” he said.
The test piling for the Pachalam ROB has already begun.