The Hanuman Junction town bypass road project, proposed to be taken up by the NHAI as part of the six-laning of the NH 5 involving laying of a 7-km road from Veleru Crossroads to Kalaparru by acquiring 170 acres, is being opposed by some villagers on the ground that they will lose their lands and houses.

Villagers, worried about loss of livelihood, have been demanding that the alignment be changed by laying a 14.5-km road connecting Veeravalli with Kalaparru.

The new alignment requires 350 acres of land. It will also lead to demolition of 50 houses/structures as against 24 houses as per the initial plan. The new alignment also involves an addition expenditure of Rs. 175 crore.

When contacted, NHAI Project Director C.S.N. Murthy told The Hindu that if the alignment was changed in line with the villagers' demand, an additional 180 acres of land would be needed and similar demands would be made by villagers of the other area.

“While some of the villagers will not lose their land if alignment is changed, others in the new alignment will lose their land and additional compensation for the land acquired has to be given at government rate plus 40 per cent (or as decided by the Revenue Divisional Officer),” Mr. Murthy said.

He disputed the villagers' claim that compensation amount was meagre.

To eliminate the risk of accidents, two flyovers were proposed – one at the beginning and the other at the end of the Hanuman Junction bypass, Mr. Murthy said.

This apart, five underpasses were being provided at habitations. Larger interests of people in general were kept in mind to minimise damage to existing structures, he said.

“If the alignment is changed, it will necessitate laying a new parallel road from Chinnakakani in Guntur district to Kalaparru near Eluru bypass road, significantly increasing the project cost,” he said.

An additional service lane was being provided from Chinnautapalli in Krishna district to Kalaparru in West Godavari to decongest the stretch between Vijayawada and Eluru, he said.