Says vested interests opposing plan

The Federation of Residents' Associations Thiruvananthapuram (FRAT) has urged the State government to ensure that the National highways passing through the State are developed with a width of 45 metres as proposed by the Centre.

The State government should not yield to pressure and reduce the width, and it should take into account studies calling for wider highways for development and the needs of 50 years, FRAT president Pattom Sasidharan Nair and general secretary Punchakkari G. Ravindran Nair said in a statement here on Monday.

They said those with vested interests were opposing the decision of the Centre to have a 45-metre width.

Land acquisition

The government should take the initiative to ensure that land was acquired equally from either side of the highway stretches for their widening and to end apprehensions among people. The officials should not be given the final say on such matters and decisions should be taken collectively.

They called for steps to ensure adequate parking facilities along the highways.

The government should consult all concerned before going ahead with the creation of parking lots.

Bus bays

In a separate statement here on Monday, the Karamana-Kaliyikkavila National Highway Action Council said the State government had promised to look into the alleged unscientific construction of bus bays on the busy stretch of National Highway 47.

Finance and Public Works Minister T.M. Thomas Isaac gave the assurance when the council submitted a memorandum to him.

In the statement, the council said construction of bus bays would compound the problems and intensify the traffic chaos on the stretch.

Building them now would be a waste of money, as the government had cleared in principle a proposal to develop the stretch into a four-lane 30-metre-wide road at an estimated cost of Rs.640 crore.

A sum of Rs.100 crore had been sanctioned to acquire land on a 12-km stretch in the initial phase. A detailed project report was being worked out.