NH 17 Action Council on the warpath

Staff Reporter

KOCHI: The NH 17 Action Council has protested against the proposal to acquire land at a width of 45 metres for the widening of National Highway 17 that passes through Cheranalloore.

General convenor of the council Hashim Chendampilly blamed lack of foresight on the part of the Government and officials for the malady. In 2003-'04, the people had surrendered land and buildings for the road that was then proposed to be 30-metres wide. They got a compensation of hardly Rs.43,000 per cent, when the market price hovered around Rs.2.90 lakhs. Of this, the Government held back 11 per cent as income tax. Using the meagre compensation amount, people rebuilt their houses and shops.

Efforts are now being made to acquire land at a width of 45 metres, citing insufficient width for the road. This would mean that people would have to demolish their habitats once again and part with the small area of land in their possession. The council has embarked on an agitation, highlighting the woes of the affected people and demanding action against officials who failed to come up with a concrete plan to widen the road.

Mr. Chendampilly demanded that the inordinate delay in compensating evictees be probed.

With land being made available between Edapally and Mangalore at a width of 30 metres, the road work should begin without any further delay. Steps should also be taken to prevent accidents on the route.