An all-party meeting will be convened by the government for a consensus on developing the national highways passing through the State and collection of toll.

Replying to questions in the Assembly on Thursday, Minister for Public Works V.K. Ebrahim Kunju said the Centre and the National Highways Authority of India were insisting on 45-metre right of way (RoW) for the NH stretches identified for development.

Centre’s notification

The government had received a notification from the Centre omitting the Kuttipuram- Edapally and Cherthala- Kazhakuttam stretches of the NH from the NHDP II and III, Mr. Kunju said.

Stating that the government had an open mind on NH development, the Minister said he had never said that the NH stretches would have only 30-metre RoW.

The ‘Ribbon development’ and ‘Balloon development’ models in developed countries could be considered for NH development, Mr. Kunju said to suggestions from members.

Land acquisition was the main hurdle to NH development and only some hectares had been acquired in the past 13 years.

Of the 799 km identified for NH development in the State, 290 km was in various stages of development.

The NHAI had also omitted the Kollam- Kazhathurthy, Kozhikode-Muthanga, Kozhikode- Palakkad, Kollam- Theni, and the Bodipet- Kundanoor stretches from the development plan.

The Minister said the government was considering developing these stretches into two-line carriageway with paved shoulder and collect toll from road users.

The Centre and the NHAI were ready to give compensation for the land being acquired only as per the norms of the Competent Authority for Land Acquisition (CALA). “They are not ready for the RR package worked out by the State and the norms of the Fair Compensation Act.”

The CVC guidelines would be followed if there was only one tender for the Kollam and Alappuzha bypasses. The State had sought assistance of the Centre for developing the Kollam- Theni stretch of the NH.

The State would also give priority to develop the Kochi-Madurai section of the NH.

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