Government has reconsidered its stand, says Minister

District in-charge Minister J. Krishna Palemar on Monday said that the State Government had decided to restrict the width of the national highway between Nanthur and Talapady to 45 metres.

Mr. Palemar told presspersons here that the decision to this effect was taken at the Chief Minister's level. Earlier, the State Government had conceded the demand of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to acquire land for a widening the road up to 60 metres.

The Minister brushed aside the alleged threat from the NHAI that it would not take up any more projects in the State if the Government were to restrict the road width to 45 metres instead of the planned 60 metres.

The Minister said the Governments in Goa and Kerala had already decided to restrict the width to 45 metres. The national highway between NIT-K, Surathkal, and BC Road, via Nanthur and Padil, will be 45 metres wide. Only people living on either side of a 65-km stretch would be displaced, whereas this was not the case with other stretches of the same highway.

This could not be allowed. The NHAI's decision would have affected 2,000 private properties, he said.

Mr. Palemar said that the national highways should of equal width in all the States. The NHAI could consider a width of 60 metres in all its future projects.

Residents losing land between Nanthur and Talapady had staged a demonstration at Thokkottu junction and petitioned the leaders against acquisition of lands for widening the roads to 60 m.The Minister said Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa would on May 23 inaugurate the 72-km Mani-Sampaje Road, strengthened at a cost of Rs. 176 crore.

He said the Government had approved the Rs. 7.6-crore project to lay a road from the new airport terminus at Kenjar. The new terminus would be inaugurated on May 15.

More In: Mangaluru