Thiruvananthapuram: There is still lack of clarity on the development of NH-66 though PWD Minister G. Sudhakaran has received an official communication from the NHAI chairman that NH-66 is back on the priority list. PWD principal secretary G. Kamala Vardhana Rao will meet NHAI chairman Narendra Nath Sinha in New Delhi next week to seek more clarifications.
It may be recalled that the centre had dropped the NH development in the state from the priority list following a letter sent by BJP state president P. S. Sreedharan Pillai to Union highways minister Nitin Gadkari. The decision was revoked after Union minister Alphons Kannanthanam intervened.
Mr Sudhakaran on Saturday released a letter sent by Mr K. Venkata Ramana, officer on special duty, to the NHAI chairman stating that regional officer/project directors had been directed to take up the projects in high-1 list on priority. The order said the projects in high-2 list were not dropped, but could be continued after seeking the approval of NHAI headquarters by providing the status of land acquisition as on May 2 and traffic on these projects.
But Mr Sudhakaran maintained that the amendment brought out by the NHAI lacks clarity.
"I have written to Gadkari and to the NHAI chairman. There is an ambiguity in the modified letter where categorisation of high priority-1 and 2 still exists. Our demand is that all stretches of NH-66 in the state should be included in high priority-1 category," said Mr Sudhakaran.
He added that the NHAI should publish the 3D proposals already submitted by the Competent Authority for Land Acquisition (CALA) office online. Long-pending tender process of Thalapady - Chengala, Chengala - Kalikkadavu and Kozhikode bypass should also be finalised by NHAI without further delay, he said.
The LDF government had been going ahead with the land acquisition procedures to complete the NH-66 expansion by 2021. It was then that the controversies erupted....