People of Mulavukad Island have at last something to cheer about as an end to their arduous journey on overcrowded autorickshaws along almost a non-existent narrow road seems likely in the near future.

Fisheries Minister S. Sarma said that the Cabinet meeting held on Wednesday had given approval to the Mulavukad road development project heeding to the longstanding demand of the islanders. The total compensation to be given for land acquisition for the project had been reworked and fixed at Rs. 8.70 crore.

Most debated issue

The call to boycott the just held byelection to the Ernakulam Assembly constituency given by the Mulavukad Road Vikasana Samyukhta Samara Samithi was the most debated issue during the election. A dharna was also staged by the Samithi on the day of election to draw attention to their plight. Mr. Sarma said that instructions had been given to the authorities concerned to start constructions works immediately.

He said that the government decision comes in the wake of realisation that there was no alternative way to resolve the transportation woes of the islanders other than to expand the road.

The Cabinet had also sanctioned an additional amount of Rs. 2.20 crore required for compensation over the initially fixed Rs. 6.50 crore from the funds of the Goshree Islands Development Authority (GIDA). It was also decided to appoint Kerala Industrial and Technical Consultancy Organisation Limited as the consultants.

Under the renewed package, those giving up more than 10 cents of land would be compensated at the same rate as those parting with less than 10 cents.

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