Petitions panel says various aspects need to be studied
The petitions committee of the State Assembly has suggested that further work on the proposed bypass at Koyilandy be put on hold until a comprehensive study on its various aspects is made.
The committee observed at its sitting here on Saturday that the scope for an elevated highway should be given serious consideration.
The committee's intervention comes at a time when a section of the local people has been protesting against the proposed bypass in spite of the government making generous offers of compensation for those displaced by the road development project.
‘No detailed survey'
The panel got the impression that no comprehensive study had been made before the decision to construct the bypass was made. It could not be convinced on why the existing road was not widened to 30 metres though a survey for the purpose was conducted way back in 1972.
After the survey for widening the existing road to 30 metres was completed, the local people were ready to vacate their land to facilitate the road widening, the committee observed.
Action committee stand
The panel said the proposal for an elevated highway could not be dismissed as impractical. The panel was told by Ramdas Thaikandi and Sivadasan Pananchikkunnu, representatives of the action committee opposing the bypass, that 518 houses would have to be demolished and several others would be damaged if the proposed bypass was constructed.
Widening of the existing road would affect only 20 houses. It was also alleged that no environmental impact assessment had been made for the bypass.
However, National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) executive engineer Subba Rao told the committee that an environmental impact study was made in 2008 though a final decision on it had not been obtained.
Construction of a bypass was being considered since the road had to be 45 metres wide and it would necessitate large-scale displacement of the people.
Committee chairman Thomas Unniyadan said the committee had taken serious note of a complaint received by it about frequent breakdown of medical equipment at Government Medical College Hospital here. The Health Department had not responded to the explanation sought by the panel.
Mr. Unniyadan said the government would be requested to provide a new CT scanner and inquire into the complaints that doctors were receiving commission from scanning centres that had mushroomed in the city.
Medical College Principal C. Ravindran informed the panel that the MRI scanner at the hospital was in working condition. The CT scanner was 11 years old. Under a maintenance contract, it was to be repaired within 24 hours whenever it malfunctioned.
Dr. Ravindran said it was not practical to conduct all tests in the hospital since nearly 6,000 patients turned up at the hospital's outpatient ward every day.
He said he was not in a position to say if senior government doctors were doing private practice.
Besides Mr. Unniyadan, committee members K. Kunhammed and K.K. Narayanan, and District Collector K.V. Mohan Kumar were present at the sitting.
Says scope for elevated highway cannot be dismissed Asks why the road cannot be widened
Says scope for elevated highway cannot be dismissed
Asks why the road cannot be widened