Land Acquisition Bill mandates at least 75 per cent landowners agreeing to the project, said the Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways.

With Parliament passing the Land Acquisition Bill, the 4,000 MW Ultra Mega Thermal Power Project at Niddodi cannot come up without the consent of the majority of people who will lose land there, said Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Oscar Fernandes here on Sunday.

Talking to reporters on the sidelines of a felicitation programme, organised by RACHANA at the Bishop’s House, the Minister said the consent of at least 75 per cent of the landowners was needed for the project to proceed. “If the people say no, it won’t be possible,” he said.

Earlier at the function, RACHANA (Catholic Chamber of Commerce and Industry) and Mangalore South MLA J.R. Lobo presented memoranda to the Minister with a list of demands for infrastructural development in the city.

Flyovers

Among the demands was the construction of a flyover at Nantoor Junction. Responding to this, Mr. Fernandes said: “The project had been sanctioned, and then scrapped as utilities were not shifted. However, if local authorities shift the utilities, the project would start. He added that the proposal for a flyover at Pumpwell and one at KPT Junction (Basaveshwara Circle) would be considered.

With the complete four-laning of the Bangalore-Mangalore (via Hassan) Highway being prime on the agenda, the Minister said the completed road between Bangalore and Hassan was delayed due to “unforeseen rains” by 15 days, and would miss the deadline of inauguration on October 2.

Similarly, the widening work of the Ghats section between Udupi and Agumbe was being considered, and plans for drilling tunnels to circumvent forest land was being discussed, he said.

“When infrastructure is set up, industries will automatically come to the region. However, as the people want non-polluting industries, we have to search for those specifically…Spare-part manufacturing units have expressed interest to set up shop here,” said the Minister.

Railways

Conceding that the present Bangalore-Mangalore trains took a “needless detour to Mysore”, Mr. Fernandes said he would ask Railway Minister Mallikarjun Kharge to look into this as well as to make the tri-weekly Bangalore-Mangalore train into a daily one.

An ambitious demand set forth by Mr. Lobo for a mono-rail or metro rail between Konaje and Manipal through Mangalore was being considered, said the Minister.

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