Thiruvananthapuram: With protest brewing against the alleged irregularities in the fresh alignment for widening the Kazhakkoottam-Vettu road NH stretch, the government is planning to convene a meeting of the local residents to look into the issue.
Devaswom minister and Kazhakkoottam MLA Kadakampally Surendran said that if the middle point of the existing road was changed in the fresh alignment, as alleged by some local people, the government would strongly object it.
“I have received complaints regarding the fresh alignment and had discussed the matter with PWD minister G Sudhakaran. The minister said a meeting would be convened soon to discuss the issue,” he told DC. He, however, added that some slight deviations could have to be done to protect important places of worship.
Meanwhile, an official of the PWD NH division said that many people of the locality had urged that the burial ground attached to a worship centre may be avoided. Similarly a good portion of land was already available with the National Highway Auth-ority of India (NHAI) on the western side of the stretch. It might be considering these aspects the NHAI decided the fresh alignment, said the official.
Praveen Sakalya, a resident at Kazhakkoottam, said that the new alignment came as a shock as the centre of the road was found to be shifted to the eastern side, strongly suspected to be with dubious intention. “As per this alignment more acquisition will be on the eastern side and there will be only marginal acquisition from the western side. It should be pertinently noted that the residents on the eastern side suffered the most during exclusive acquisition from the eastern side which happened in 1972, when the western side was left untouched,” he said.
Mr Praveen also said that the fresh development had triggered strong suspicions among the residents on the eastern side of the stretch about the unholy nexus. “Those on the western side are highly influential people in the society, including businessmen. Such manipulations will only demoralise the people who were willing to donate their property for the developmental interest of Kazhakkoottam as well as the state,” he said....