Land given for Kochi Metro free of cost; permission granted to sell it too
Thiruvananthapuram: The land which was allotted to the Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) for compensating their losses due to the Kochi Metro service, has been titled to them for free.
The 17.315 acres of land which is worth Rs 138.38 crore as fair price was given in 2012 based on the condition that they should pay the price after 30 years. This land was titled to them free of cost in 2018.
The actual price of the land is over Rs 200 crore. The condition that the land can be sold only after 12 years also was avoided. Now the authorities are trying to give them an additional 16 acres of land in the same way.
The actions are taken in the name of the agreement with the central government that the state should provide land to KMRL for acquiring Rs 98 crore through land development. The land could have been given for lease.
17 acres of land given for free
Earlier, it was decided that the 17.315 acre out of the 33 acres of land owned by the PWD in Kochi can be titled to KMRL for Rs 83.95 crore. This amount will be considered as a loan granted to the KMRL and will allow moratorium for 15 years. After this, they have to pay an interest of 5 percent. After 30 years, the amount should be re-paid as 5 equal instalments.
However, KMRL sought permission to sell the land in order to reduce their liabilities. Despite the disagreement from the revenue department, a committee of the secretaries headed by the chief secretary took a decision favourable to the KMRL.
Thus according to the cabinet decision, the land was titled to them without any condition including paying the price. The order was issued in December 2018. The state should have helped the KMRL to earn Rs 98 crore as per the agreement made with the Centre. But the state government gave them land worth over Rs 138 crore for free.
KMRL asks for 16 acre more
Now, the KMRL has requested 16 more acres of land owned by PWD in Kochi. The rest house and other buildings of the PWD are situated on this land. The concerned departments have opposed the move to grant them 16 more acres of land.