Road widening begins in Parkala town

Residents arguing with officials at Parkala in Udupi district on Sunday.  

There were some initial resistance from residents of Parkala town in Udupi district on Sunday when the National Highways Division of the State Public Works Department (PWD) commenced building dismantling work in the town for the much-awaited widening of National Highway 169A (Malpe-Tirthahalli).

Widening the highway into a four-lane road between Udupi and Hiriyadka had hit a roadblock with people opposing work in Parkala town, located between Manipal and Hiriyadka. The stretch had always been witnessing frequent traffic jams with just a two-lane narrow carriageway available for vehicles.

With the Union Road Transport Ministry sanctioning funds for land acquisition, the PWD issued notifications for acquisition and finalised compensation. As the department initiated dismantling the acquired buildings on Sunday, residents and traders of the town objected to it stating that the process was started without any notice being given. They needed at least a week’s time to shift their belongings, the affected persons said. PWD’s Executive Engineer Nagaraj Naik and other officials visited the spot and pacified the public stating when the final acquisition notice was issued, it should be treated as a notice to vacate property. Later, Udupi MLA K. Raghupathi Bhat visited the spot and convinced the agitating public about the need for speedy completion of works before the onset of rain. The dismantling work resumed thereafter.

Attractive compensation

Mr. Naik told The Hindu that in all, 72 property were acquired for a 900 m length of road in Parkala town for four-laning NH 169A between Kadiyali in Udupi and Parkala. A majority of them were old buildings, while others were vacant property.

When the Udupi City Municipal Council desired to acquire property for road widening eight years ago, the total compensation payable was pegged at ₹3.2 crore. However, at present, ₹21.85 crore was being paid as compensation to land and building losers, Mr. Naik said. The compensation was fixed at ₹3,096 per sq ft for non-agricultural land and two times of ₹84 lakh per acre for agricultural land.

Compared to other regions, public in this area had extended their cooperation to road widening work, though there were some initial hiccups, he said.

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Printable version | May 12, 2021 7:11:01 AM |

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