Aimed at addressing the hitches in offering compensatory land for the second phase of the bund road project, a team of officials led by Ernakulam District collector M.G. Rajamanickam on Tuesday visited the project site at Chilavannur and interacted with the local residents.

The visit followed a direction from Urban Affairs Minister Manjalamkuzhy Ali, who had visited the spot earlier last month. While the first phase of the project between Sastri Nagar and K.P. Vallon Road of the Thykoodam-Thevara stretch is set for completion before Onam, delay in acquisition of land is holding back works on the second phase from Chilavannur to Chambakkara.

On completion, the new road running parallel to SA Road will connect Thevara and Champakkara, through Thykoodam on NH Bypass. The full road is slated to be opened to traffic by the year end. Despite the authorities expressing their willingness to rehabilitate the households, the delay in land acquisition is attributed to a dispute between land owners and the Greater Cochin Development Authority (GCDA)over the minimum purchase price.

The State government had adopted a policy whereby a landowner would be given only 70 per cent of the land surrendered in return. This invited sharp criticism from the landowners with small landholdings. However, the GCDA executive committee has put forward a proposal to compensate owners surrendering up to five cents with an equal parcel of land. As the initial idea to compensate the loss of houses was met with some resistance, GCDA now proposes to build houses with private support on the land to be given as compensation.

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