Kerala

Track doubling: land acquisition complete

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In the 16.5-km Ettumanur-Chingavanam corridor

Marking the culmination of a process that prolonged almost a decade, the Revenue Department has completed acquisition of land in the 16.5-km corridor between Ettumanur and Chingavanam in Kottayam for completing the track-doubling work on the Ernakulam-Kayamkulam stretch.

According to officials with the revenue department, the State has already handed over 3.9306 ha of land required for the doubling works while the acquisition of the remaining 3.5 cent in Muttambalam will be over by next week. The 211 families in three villages, who surrendered their property for the project, were given a total compensation of ₹86.49 crore.

An earlier plan to take over the land under the direct purchase scheme came a cropper due to stiff opposition by property owners. Following this, a notification was issued on May 22, 2019 for acquiring the land by invoking the Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act (Larra Act) -2013.

In six months

“We worked overtime and on holidays under the direct supervision of the District Collector and LA tahsildar to complete the task in six months. The Chief Minister’s office was also in constant touch with the Collectorate, reviewing the progress of the acquisition from time to time,” said an official.

In a congratulatory note sent to the revenue department, Railway Chief Engineer (constructions) Shaji Zachariah termed the doubling works along the Ettumanur-Chingavanam stretch as a super critical project, which could now be completed within a time frame of two years.

New bridges

As part of the track-doubling works, as many as five bridges and 30 culverts have to be constructed along the stretch.

Meanwhile, Railways are slated to open the railway overbridge (ROB) on the NH 183 near Kanjikkuzhi later this month . “The opening of the ROB will be followed by the construction of another ROB near the Rubber Board. The two ROBs together will facilitate the doubling works in the Kottayam-Chingavanam stretch by keeping out the two tunnels near the Kottayam railway station,” said a railway official.

The two tunnels, measuring 84 meters and 65 meters respectively, were constructed in 1957 to facilitate rail traffic between Kottayam and Kollam.

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Printable version | Dec 12, 2019 8:03:08 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/track-doubling-land-acquisition-complete/article29872209.ece

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