At last, the state government has decided to facilitate development of National Highways in the state on a 45-metre width. District Collectors and various department heads have been directed to re-start land acquisition proceedings in this regard.
The decision comes in the wake of a general assessment at the annual conference of district collectors and department heads, convened by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, which concluded here on Tuesday. The meet felt that at least 45 metres is essential for the NH development on a futuristic perspective, overriding an opinion to be contend with a width of 30 metres.
‘‘Slight changes in alignments and width will be allowed in special cases,’’ Chief Secretary E K Bharat Bhushan told mediapersons after the conclusion of the meet. ‘’Where there is a 30-metre width at present, 7.5 metres will be acquired on either sides equally,’’ he explained.
‘‘The government is contemplating NH development on a 45-metre scale, on the basis of a general consensus,’’ he added. The conference also decided to bring out a set of guidelines and calendar for cutting and digging of roads.
Land fair price complaints
District Collectors were directed to settle complaints on the fair price of land within a maximum period of two months. They were also asked to ensure stern measures to recover alienated land of tribals in the state.
The Zero Landless programme will be accorded top priority and various departments have been asked to provide co-operation and assistance to the Revenue Department’s initiative.
A meeting of people’s representatives and all political parties will be convened for expediting land acquisition for the GAIL pipeline project and Karipur airport development.
The State Government will not take the initiative for construction of airports in Idukki and Wayanad, on account of intense opposition of the local people against land acquisition, the Chief Secretary said.