Development of NH bypass from Kazhakuttom to Karode

The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has granted approval for a compensation package for acquiring land from Kottukal village for the development of the 43.62-km NH-66 bypass from Kazhakuttom to Karode on the Kerala-Tamil Nadu border.

The NHAI decision comes at a time when the NHAI has invited a Request for Proposal (RFP) for converting a 26-km stretch of the NH-66 bypass from Kazhakuttam to Mukkola into a four-lane road.

The NHAI’s invitation for the RFP was following the delay in handing over land for the 17.62-km stretch of the road up to Karode.

Official sources said the NHAI orders were issued on Thursday on the basis of the report given by the Competent Authority Land Acquisition (CALA).

A sum of Rs.78.60 crore would be given by the NHAI as compensation to the landowners in the Kottukal village.

Official sources said the authority would come out with an approval for the other four villages in the 17.62 km stretch once the CALA submitted the report.

The order issued by the DGM (LA & Coord), NHAI, Prag Ghosh said the compensation rates were indicated by the State on the basis of the sales statistics for similar adjoining land as on the date of publication of the statutory 3A notification on March 22, 2012, and July 13, 2013.

The rates fixed by the NHAI were Rs.8,464/sq m for dry land with PWD road access, Rs.7,618/sq m for dry land with Panchayat road access, Rs.6,671/sq m for dry land without road access, and Rs.5,925/sq m for wet land.

The local project director of the NHAI was also asked to ensure that the land was transferred into the NHAI’s possession and simultaneously mutated in the name of the government after the compensation money was deposited with the CALA.

Tharoor’s intervention

Describing it as an important day for the people, Union Minister of State for Human Resource Development Shashi Tharoor said it would bring relief to the people who were suffering for more than four decades.

With this, Mr. Tharoor said the final step for reaching the actual payments to the beneficiaries had been completed. “After receiving the payments, the land owners could go in appeal for additional compensation under various arbitration processes”, he added.

BOT project

The Public-Private Partnership Appraisal Committee of the Union government has given nod for the first 26 km of the project to be taken up on a public-private partnership mode at a cost of Rs.577.95 crore.

The entire 43.62 km stretch will cost Rs.1,170 crore.

The 43.62-km stretch from Kazhakuttam to Karode is part of the 212-km NH-66 (old NH-47) bypass project of the NHAI from Thuravur that began in 1974. It is part of the National Highway Development Project Phase III.

The 22-km first phase, from Kazhakuttom junction to Kovalam junction, was converted into a two-lane 15 years ago. Land has been acquired for a four-lane stretch and to the extent of 45 metres along the bypass on the Kazhakuttam-Chakka-Eenchakkal-Kovalam stretch.