Protest against widening of NH 66 continues in city

Up in arms:  Residents protest against the widening of the national highway on Tuesday.

Up in arms: Residents protest against the widening of the national highway on Tuesday.

Revenue Department officials continued to plant alignment stones for the proposed widening of National Highway 66 (former NH17) on Tuesday amid protest by residents along the stretch of the highway between Edappally and Moothakunnam.

A senior official of the department said stones were planted on Tuesday along the stretch between the south end of Varappuzha bridge and the Cheranelloor Junction.

He said there were no protesters till noon and work had progressed smoothly. Even after the protests began, the work was not obstructed, he said.

The process of acquiring land for four-laning the national highway is scheduled to be completed in six months. The boundary stones began to be planted from mid-January.

A total of 23.31 km of the highway will pass through Ernakulam district and 51 hectares are being proposed to be acquired. The NH17 Samyukta Samara Samiti spearheading the agitation against land acquisition has accused the administration of trying to bulldoze its way to acquiring land.

No public hearing had been conducted nor had statutory clearances for the project been obtained, said Hashim Chennampilly of the Samara Samiti.

People in Cheranelloor observed black day on Tuesday by hoisting black flags along road and on the premises of their houses, protesting against the land acquisition by the government.

A group of protesters also marched to the site of the stone planting work on Tuesday, said Mr. Chennampilly. However, they did not disrupt the work, he said.

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Printable version | Aug 4, 2022 2:18:02 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/protest-against-widening-of-nh-66-continues-in-city/article26188075.ece