Land for rail, road connectivity for ICTT be finished by Feb-end

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Kochi, Feb 2 (UNI) Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister T K A Nair today directed the Kerala Government to complete the land acquisition for the rail and road connectivity for the Vallarpadam International Container Transshipment Terminal (ICTT) by this month-end.

Chairing a high-level review meeting here this evening on two major infrastructure projects under the Cochin Port Trust - the Vallarpadam ICTT and the Petronet LNG Terminal - Mr Nair stressed the that the projects should be proceeded according to schedule.

Briefing reporters after the meeting, CPT Chairman N Ramachandran said that Kerala Government Chief Secretary P J Thomas, on behalf of the State Government, had assured that the land acquisition would be completed by this deadline.

Apprehending that delay in acquisition of land for the rail and road connectivity had the potential to delay the ICTT project, Mr Nair stressed the need for time-bound acquisition of the land.

The foundation stone for the country's first ICTT at Vallarpadam was laid by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in 2005.

Regarding the Petronet LNG Terminal project, Mr Ramachandran said the 'concession agreement', to be signed between the CPT and Petronet, was awaiting the approval of the Union Cabinet as some modification was needed in the Central land use rules.

Construction work would begin once the Cabinet approval was received, Mr Ramachandran said.

Ernakulam District Collector A P Mohd Haneesh, who was also present at the meeting, said the land acquisition for the Highway project would be completed by February 15 as 40.5 hectares of the required 44 hectares had already been acquired.

As for the land for the rail connectivity, the acquisition of land in Edapally North and Edapally South villages would be completed by February 29. In the Vaduthala area, where local residents had been protesting against the acquisition, the maximum extent possible would be acquired by February-end, Mr Haneesh said.

UNI ARC GKT PJ RN2311

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