High Court orders police protection for Water Metro work

Construction company alleges violence by trade unions

The Kerala High Court has directed the police to take necessary steps to ensure that there is no threat to law and order at the site in Vypeen where the Water Metro terminal construction is on.

Justice Anil K. Narendran passed the directive on a petition filed by the Marymatha Infrastructure Private Limited.

The petitioner said that the company was executing the works of the Kochi Water Metro project. The entire work had to be completed by the second of February. The inauguration was scheduled for February 22. However, the work at the Vypeen site had come to a standstill because of the problems created by the trade unions including the CITU and INTUC.

The petitioner alleged that the union leaders were demanding engagement of their men in the construction work. They had also sought “nookukooli” (notional wage) if members of their unions could not be employed. They had indulged in violence and manhandled the site in-charge and supervisor of the construction works. Though a complaint had been lodged with the Vypeen police, no action had been taken. Unless the police provided protection, the company would not be able to complete the prestigious project. The police were duty-bound to clear any obstructions caused by the trade unions to the ongoing work. However, the police looked the other way.

The court also directed the union leaders to file affidavits in response to the allegations of the petitioner. The court posted the petition for February 1 for further hearing.

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