Thripunithura bypass: Demand to address landowners’ woes

A dilapidated house on the frozen alignment of the Thripunithura bypass. Special Arrangement  

The Public Works Department (NH Wing) and the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) must do the needful to redress the woes of hundreds of people who were left in the lurch after their lands were frozen three decades ago for the Thripunithura bypass project which has not been realised so far, M.M. Mohanan, secretary of EDRAAC-Thiruvankulam Zone, said.

The ‘apathy’ towards the plight of landowners has resulted in they being unable to rebuild or renovate their dilapidated houses. Neither can they bequeath their land/houses to their children. MPs, MLAs and representatives of local bodies must proactively help redress the grievances of landowners, most of whom are senior citizens, he added.

The demand comes in the wake of NHAI reportedly not confirming whether the plots that were acquired, or were frozen for acquisition, will be acquired as part of the Kundannoor-Angamaly NH bypass project.

“Little has happened after I got a notice and 12 survey stones were laid in 2007 to acquire land in my two-acre plot for the Thripunithura bypass project,” said Jaimon Joy, a Thiruvankulam-based civil engineer. “Only 4.5 hectares of the total 16-hectares needed for the project were acquired all through 30 years, following which the acquisition notification lapsed. Landowners were hoping against hope that rest of the land (the freezed land) will be acquired.”

“The written assurance given a year ago that the land will be acquired under the Bharatamala project to build highways too has not been adhered to so far. Following this, senior NHAI officials had visited the alignment in June, heard our grievances and assured us that the plots will be included in either the alignment of Kochi-Theni NH or the Kundannoor-Angamaly NH. It all turned topsy turvy in August, when they cited a distance of hardly 500 m between the two NHs, with the result that we have been left in the lurch. They now say any highway alignment through the stretch that had been planned for the Thripunithura bypass will not be socially, economically and technically feasible, although the Kundannoor-Mattakuzhi alignment is a straight one,” Mr. Joy said.

With this, a section of landowners are hoping that readying a link road to the Kundannoor-Angamaly NH will bring them some respite.

Yet another landowner George of Mamala said he is now unable to sell off five cents of his land since survey stones were laid in the early 1990s. His house there has been damaged beyond redemption.

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Printable version | Jan 29, 2022 7:56:47 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/thripunithura-bypass-demand-to-address-landowners-woes/article37858439.ece

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