THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:Even as the first phase of the four-laning of Karamana-Pravachambalam stretch is progressing at a fast pace, the preliminary works, including land acquisition of the second phase of the stretch starting from Pravachambalam to Vazhimukku, have hit a major roadblock owing to inordinate delay in giving compensation to land owners.
Though the government gave assurance to the land owners on several occasions about providing compensation for the acquired land on time, uncertainty over the issue looms large. None of the residents on the said stretch have been informed or notified about further developments, especially after fixing the new fair value for the land.
Now, it is unlikely that the second phase development would take place during the tenure of the present government.
Velappan Nair, staying near Pallichal, said that he had neither received any information on the compensation nor notice for eviction. “The lackadaisical attitude of the government has landed us in a sticky situation. In fact, we can’t carry out transactions on this land or even approach the banks for availing loans. Hence, the government should do us a favour at the earliest,” he said.
Sources pointed out that the government would not be able to pay compensation to land owners in the near future as it is facing a financial crisis.
Though Health Minister V S Sivakumar had announced an amount of around Rs 160 crore for the second phase development recently, nothing has moved forward.
The price for the land was also fixed after completing the survey in April. The price was fixed in four categories - Rs 14.25 lakh per cent for Class A category, Rs 12.60 lakh for Class B, Rs 11.90 lakh for Class C and Rs 10 lakh for Class D. However, this fair value of the land was changed by the government three months ago by reducing it by Rs 2 lakh per cent. Later, the government revised the fair value again, by increasing it by Rs 1 lakh a cent following requests from building and owners’ association and residents. But after this assurance, no order or directive was issued by the government.
The other major challenge in the second phase will be the road-widening at Balaramapuram, where many businesses need to be removed. In fact, this part of the stretch is facing acute traffic congestion. Commuters and motorists have to move at a snail’s pace along the two km from Kodinada in Balaramapuram to Vazhimukku owing to the rush and parking.
Meanwhile, Sub-Collector S Karthikeyan told ‘City Express’ that discussions were being held on a daily basis with the stake-holders and land owners. “We have received the consent from over 60 per cent of the residents. However, the final decision is expected to come out within a couple of weeks,” he said. Over 900 people are expected to receive the compensation.