Residents sore over delay in land acquisition for service lanes

Traffic snarls occur in the absence of service lanes from Palpannai to Thuvakudi on Tiruchi-Thanjavur highway.  

Residents are sore over an “inordinate delay” in acquisition of land for building service lanes along the 14.5-km-long city stretch of the Tiruchi-Thanjavur National Highway.

In October 2019, the residents had heaved a sigh of relief after Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court directed the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to take expeditious steps to build service lanes along the 14.5-km city stretch of the highway between Thuvakudi and Palpannai in Tiruchi. It also ordered the NHAI to proceed with the land acquisition process.

“Considering the fact that the matter has unnecessarily dragged on from 2014, which in our considered opinion, without any valid cause, it is a high time the NHAI took expeditious steps to complete the exercise and we hope and trust that the service road will be formed within a period of six months from October 15,” the court had said while disposing of a batch of petitions on the matter.

Elevated corridor

Subsequently, property owners and traders who face displacement due to land acquisition, organised as Tiruchi-Thanjai NH67 Salai Virivakka Panikalal Bathikapaduvor Kootammaippu, had mooted the construction of an elevated corridor as an alternative so as to protect the livelihood of a large number of people who would be affected by the project. The property owners and the residents had staged protests and demonstrations to press for their respective demands.

In February this year, Collector S. Sivarasu told reporters that the land acquisition is likely to be completed by May-end. He had claimed that the land acquisition for the service lanes was completed in four out of the nine villages and the process in the remaining five villages would most probably be completed by May 31.

However, the process is yet to be completed, complain residents. “There does not seem to be much progress and the process is dragging on. Meanwhile, fatal accidents continue on the highway stretch in the absence of service lanes. Over the past 15 days, six fatal accidents had taken place on the stretch, including two near Kailash Nagar,” claimed S. Subramaniyan, organiser, the Federation for Retrieval of Tiruchi-Palpannai-Thuvakudi Service Roads.

One of the residents is said to have filed a contempt petition before the court and a similar petition moved by the federation is being clubbed with the other one, Mr.Subramaniyan said.

“Our MLA and Minister for School Education Anbil Mahesh Poyyamozhi had also taken up the matter with the Chief Minister. But we do not why the matter is still dragging on,” he added.

When contacted, Mr. Sivarasu said that valuation of buildings (situated on the lands to be acquired) was under way and the land acquisition process would be completed by January.

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Printable version | Oct 21, 2021 2:21:19 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/s-subramaniyan-organiser/article36696171.ece

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