Kochi: A total of 19 families are being forced to live in dilapidated rooms after they were asked to vacate their allotted quarters to facilitate the Kochi metro rail project at the South railway station premises.
For over six months now, they have been forced to live in “abandoned” quarters with the railways and metro authorities failing to reach a pact that includes rehabilitation of the families.
“The families are living in dilapidated quarters where rain water seeps in and cracks have developed in the walls. The staff belongs to Group ‘C’ and ‘D’ class. We’ve taken up the issue with the General Manager Rakesh Mishra,” said P Unnikrishnan, divisional president of Southern Railways Mazdoor Union.
The quarters, towards the south of the station entrance, were lying abandoned because they were yet to be demolished to facilitate metro construction after issues developed between the railways and the Kochi Metro Rail Ltd. The metro authorities dispute the “shadow charges” demanded by the railways, cutting down the original plan of constructing a metro station there.
“The railways is yet to finalise land for setting up the new buildings. The families could not afford to stay in rented accommodation outside with the meager salary they earn and were forced to live in the abandoned quarters,” Unnikrishnan said....