Nation Other News 02 Jul 2016 Protests disrupt sur ...

Protests disrupt survey for National Highway widening in Kozhikode

Published Jul 2, 2016, 6:50 am IST
Updated Jul 2, 2016, 6:50 am IST
Overcrowded NH. 	— Representative picture
 Overcrowded NH. — Representative picture

KOZHIKODE: The survey for the widening of the National Highway to 45 metres, kickstarted in Kozhikode district, has been disrupted at various places by the NH action committee. While the survey in Malappuram was almost stopped, in Kozhikode massive resistance came from the residents of Puthuppanam near Vadakara and Azhiyur in Mahe.

As per the state government's plan, the widening of NH 17 and NH 47 to 45 metres undertaken by the PWD covers 96.2 km of the NH network, while another 283 km would be widened to 30 metres. The members of the NH action committee have warned of intensifying the protest if the survey was conducted by force. Action committee leader A.T. Mahesh told DC that survey-related activities should be stopped until a rehabilitation package acceptable to the affected was decided.

District Special Deputy Collector (National Highway Authority of India) Shamin Sebastine said that the priority of the government was to develop these stretches at the earliest. "Hence we have decided to take strict action against whoever hinders the process. As per our assessment, no land owners in these areas are protesting as the government has offered them a comprehensive compensation package which is close to the market value of the land," she added.

"None of the members of the action committee possess land in these areas marked for widening," she pointed out. Soon after the survey is completed, the department will begin the award calculation for the land. The entire land acquisition procedures would be completed on a war-footing to meet the deadline of August 30.

The NH action council formed in Malappuram district has decided to intensify the stir. "This is the fourth notification to be released by the government for the conduct of the survey, against which we are protesting," said district convener of the action committee Abulaiz Thenjippalam. The road development will take away 357.98 hectares of land in the district and 5618 buildings will have to be demolished, and the majority of them are houses," he added.

The land acquisition procedures were earlier affected due to the controversy over the 60-metre standard width of the NHs, which the NHAI had reduced to 45 metres considering the highways in the state passed through densely populated areas. Later, an all-party meeting approved the 45-metre width and decided to go ahead with the land acquisition process for the NH-66 (earlier NH 17) and NH-544 (formerly NH 47).

Location: India, Kerala


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