(G.N.S) Dt. 15
Giving a jolt to the Metro project, chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the state government will take up the task of implementing the second phase only after getting necessary clearance from the Centre.
Replying to a submission by MLA VP Sajeendran, in the state assembly, Vijayan said state government was asked to resubmit a detailed project report (DPR) incorporating changes based on the new Metro policy announced by the Centre. “The DPR prepared in February 2018 is under the consideration of the state government,” he said. He said the state will initiate further steps after submitting the report to the Centre and only after receiving all approvals required for implementing the project.
In May 2017, administrative sanction was given for a sum of Rs 2,577 crore for the project and a DPR was submitted before the Centre seeking final clearance. The state government sanctioned Rs 189 crore and necessary administrative sanction for facilitating land acquisition as an initial step for implementing second phase of the project from Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium to Infopark.
As per a government order on September 20, 2017, an amount of Rs 20 crore has been kept aside for land acquisition. The district administration has initiated the process of conducting an environmental impact study. “As the Centre has come out with a new Metro policy, we will have to get their approval for starting the extension works,” said the chief minister.
Announcing Delhi Metro Rail Corporation’s (DMRC) decision to quit the Light Metro projects in Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode, Metro Man E Sreedharan pointed out that after submitting DPR, it would usually take two years to get it approved by the Centre.
Hence, generally state governments give sanction to start work on the project after receiving DPR. Citing examples of Metro construction in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu the Centre provided approval after commencement of works using the funds given by the state government. Meanwhile, speaking on land acquisition procedures for Metro, deputy collector (Kochi Metro) P B Sunillal dismissed allegations that there was delay in acquiring land for the project.
“For Thykoodam substation 73.46 ares have been acquired and for Thykoodam station 38.99 ares have been acquired. The social impact assessment and other procedures to acquire land have been completed in Thykoodam and Pettah,” he said.
He said for Vyttila-Pettah stretch 1.4837 hectares have been acquired while the acquisition process for 0.5789 hectare for Metro stations at Pettah and Tripunithura, and 0.928 hectare for widening the stretch of road between Pettah-Tripunithura has started. “We have issued notification in this regard,” he said. However, Sunillal said that process for “acquiring land between Pettah and SN Junction is yet to begin.”
The district administration has also decided to carry out the social impact assessment study for the phase-II extension of Palarivattom-Kakkanad Metro line by Rajagiri outreach.
(G.N.S) Dt. 15