Move aimed at raising footfall as land acquisition on Pettah stretch gets delayed
Faced with delay in acquiring land on the Thykoodam-Pettah stretch, Kochi metro agencies have intensified efforts to commission the Maharaja’s College Ground-Thykoodam stretch, so that the extension increases footfall in the metro.
This emphasis on speeding up work on the stretch will take Kochi metro’s length from 18 km to 23 km, while also linking Vyttila, a major converging point for different modes of transport.
Speaking about the delay in completing land acquisition between Thykoodam and Pettah, District Collector K. Mohammed Y. Safirulla said that the social impact assessment and all other procedures to acquire land were over.
“There is a delay since this is the first project in Kerala for which land is being acquired using the new land acquisition Act.”
The last revised deadline to complete land acquisition was December 2017. “Speedy completion of land acquisition is a necessity to take the metro up to Pettah and beyond up to Tripunithura. This cannot be done unless people surrender land. The DMRC has stated that it cannot wait any longer to commence piling on the stretch. Prior to piling, buildings on acquired plots must be dismantled, underground utility lines shifted and the road widened,” KMRL sources said. Metro work on the stretch will have to be re-tendered if the DMRC backed out, they said. DMRC officials said that they were hopeful of getting possession of the entire stretch in a month. Only then can the metro viaduct up to Pettah be readied by June 2020. Prior to this, the four-lane Champakkara bridge and metro viaduct over it would be ready by March 2020.
Additional land acquisition for the bridge is slated to be over by June.
Ongoing civil works
Currently, piling and other civil works are going on in the Maharaja’s College Ground-Thykoodam stretch, undertaken by CVCC, Soma Constructions and Era Ranken. Civil works in the entire corridor will be over by December 2018. Track laying will take another three months and installation of different systems yet another three months, following which it will be ready for inspection by the Commissioner for Metro Rail Safety (CMRS) by June 2019.
The 95-metre-long balanced cantilever structure through which metro trains will cross the Ernakulam Junction railway station, a critical component of pending work, will be ready by September. Entry/exit of all four stations on the stretch will be readied by June 2019, except on one side of Ernakulam Junction railway station.