Coimbatore

Highways Authority to start land acquisition for Karur-Coimbatore bypass

A file photograph of the farmers taking part in a meeting against the Karur-Coimbatore bypass

A file photograph of the farmers taking part in a meeting against the Karur-Coimbatore bypass   | Photo Credit: S. SIVA SARAVANAN

An official said the Collectors of three districts through which the road will pass through had approved of the alignment in 2018, and the consultant is expected to give the land acquisition details next week

The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) plans to start land acquisition for the Karur-Coimbatore bypass road shortly.

An official of the NHAI said the Collectors of three districts through which the road will pass through had approved of the alignment in 2018, and the consultant is expected to give the land acquisition details next week. This will give a clear picture of the total land required.

The officials made a presentation to the Coimbatore District Collector recently, at the District Road Safety Committee meeting and it is learnt that they were asked to review the alignment.

“We made a presentation at the meeting to give an idea about the project. But the alignment is already approved,” the official claimed.

However, farmers, the Coimbatore MP and some officials too, have objected to the ₹ 3,500 crore project.

On Wednesday, Coimbatore Member of Parliament (MP) P.R. Natarajan and several farmers submitted a memorandum to Coimbatore District Collector K. Rajamani saying the existing road between Karur and Coimbatore should be widened rather than taking up a greenfield project.

Mr. Natarajan told The Hindu that according to details provided by the NHAI officials earlier, nearly 2,000 acres of agriculture land will have to be acquired for the project and it will reduce the distance for those travelling from Karur to Coimbatore by just six km. This too is according to the NHAI estimate.

“There seems to be a hidden agenda behind many of these road projects. It looks like these are taken up to benefit a few people. The Pollachi MP and I have already registered our objection to the project. There is a lot of government land that can be used to to widen the existing road. But the NHAI is not keen on doing it because only if a new road is developed can it come under toll collection,” he said.

According to K. Kathirmathiyon, secretary of Coimbatore Consumer Cause who is also a member of the road safety committee, the project was not presented in any road safety committee meeting earlier. Hence, the members do not know when the Collector approved it. There should be transparency about the project and the approvals given. Many of the officials had expressed their reservation to the project and its alignment at the recently-held meeting of the committee. The existing road should be widened rather than taking up such a project. If there is toll collection on the new road, users will start using the existing road and the new one will remain under-utilised, he said.

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Printable version | Apr 10, 2020 1:00:09 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Coimbatore/highways-authority-to-start-land-acquisition-for-karur-coimbatore-bypass/article30859851.ece

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