Members of Rashtriya Heddari Bhoo Swadhina Santrastara Horata Samithi (a forum of people who lost land to highway widening project), Mukka, will take out a protest march from Pavanje bridge to the National Institute of Technology-Karnataka, Surathkal, on the National Highway 66 on Thursday.

They are protesting against the government’s plan to acquire land on the 1.5 km stretch between the bridge and the institute to widen the highway to 60m.

Addressing presspersons here on Tuesday, president of the forum K. Mahabala Rai said the competent authority (Assistant Commissioner, Mangalore Sub-Division) should acquire the land to widen the highway on the stretch to only 45m. If more land was acquired, 38 families would lose their properties.

He said the government in January 2013 issued preliminary notification for acquiring the land. It was yet to issue the final notification. The government and the Minister for Road Transport and Highways should consider people’s demand before issuing the final notification.

Though 30 objections were filed before the court of the Assistant Commissioner on January 31, 2013, the court in its order on May 20 rejected all of them.

The order said a two-lane road has been formed at the stretch on the available government land. The area was an education centre. “…As per national policy of NH roads, it absolutely needs a service road with space for drain, electrical and telephone cables, water supply pipeline, etc. This small stretch cannot be exempted from the policy...”

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