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Help sought for Vytilla terminal land acquisition

Staff Reporter

KOCHI: The Corporation of Kochi passed a resolution on Thursday, requesting urgent intervention of the State Government and the Chief Minister to end the stalemate over the Vytilla bus-terminal project.

Most members were critical of what they termed as the stubbornness of the State Agriculture Department to hand over 25 acres of land that the department and Kerafed owns on the eastern side of Vytilla Junction, to set up the bus terminal. Mayor Mercy Williams said that she took up the matter with the Agriculture Minister.

“The project has been included in the city development/master plan and the city-mobility plan. The possibility of getting funds under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission needs to be probed. A special purpose vehicle too has to be set up, for getting funds, operating the terminal and maintaining it.”

Opposition Leader in the Council A. B. Sabu said that the Mayor must spearhead the agitations by different organizations demanding early transfer of land from the Agriculture Department. Expressing concern at deteriorating traffic snarls in the city, he said that an integrated bus terminal at Vytilla can considerably bring down the congestion.

Reacting to suggestions made by some members to look for alternative land in places like Vennala, Deputy Mayor C. K. Manisankar said that acquiring land from private parties would be a costly proposition.

“The advantage of Vytilla is that the Agriculture Department can be given land in the suburbs, for the area that it surrenders for the bus terminal.”

Former Mayor K. J. Sohan, who is also the chairman of the standing committee on Development said that the Corporation must take the leadership in setting up the terminal.

“Kochi needs a unified metropolitan transport authority. Our committee had given a detailed proposal on executing the bus-terminal project,” he said.

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