Kollam: Over 5,000 families and about a 1,000 business establishments in the district face threat of eviction for National Highway 66 widening.
They allege a foul play in central line marking process for acquiring land equally on either side for a total width of 45 meters.
The road development has also created ‘victims’ who are deprived of the privilege to sell their land for the last several decades even in emergencies including marrying off their girls or for treatment.
The district has a 57-km stretch of NH from Oachira to Kadampatt-ukonam. Of this, land along nearly 13 km spanning from Kavanad to Mevaram has already been acquired. In several spots, the width goes up even to 52 metres along the 17-km Mevaram – Kadampattukonam stretch where the central line has been marked.
The residents also allege this uneven marking will cause the land to be acquired from only one side of the existing road, which is against norms.
The authorities have not yet convened talks with the evictees to reach a consensus on their compensation package. The land marked for road widening is still with the owners, and they continue to pay tax for these properties.
However, the LSGDs deny permission for construction works on these sites.
They are even denied loan facilities as financial institutions do not even accept these properties as collateral security.
The evictees demand the rehabilitation package announced after conducting a study on their market value. They also cite the example of 6-lane Karamana – Kaliyik-kavila road constructed in just 30 meters width whereas the acquisition for the proposed NH 66 is progressing in 45 metres.