KOCHI: As many as 80 families in Kizhakkekara near Kakkanad on Thursday came out to protest when the revenue officials from the Vazhakkala village office erected a fence across the NGO Quarters Road. The fence allegedly blocked their shortest route to the Kakkanad Civil Line Road.
Tense situation prevailed in the area with the residents and the officials exchanging heated arguments for long hours. The revenue officials said the fence was erected to acquire 17.5 acres of land at Old NGO Quarters in Kakkanad for the theme based leisure and entertainment zone project being implemented by the Kochi Metro Rail Ltd (KMRL). The residents said the authorities had blocked the road without prior notice.
“We have been using this road for the past 60 years. The road is the easiest way for us to reach our residences. Earlier District Collector K Mohammed Y Safirulla had promised that the road will be left out during land acquisition. But suddenly, today, the revenue department officers came and closed the road,” said Seena Rahman, NGO Quarters councilor.
Residents demanded a new road to the area. “The authorities should either let us use the existing road or develop a new road for us. The Quarters road was built using the land handed over to the government by us years ago,” Aboobakar K K, a resident in Kizhakkekara said.
The stand-off was resolved after Kanayannur Tahsildar Beena P Anand, visited the area and opened the road for public use. She promised the residents that the issue will be settled amicably after discussing the matter with District Collector S Suhas and the KMRL officials. “A meeting with the officials will be convened soon,” she said. Vazhakkala village officer Sunil C K said the PWD department had already handed over the land to KMRL. “The revenue department is just helping the KMRL to complete the land acquisition. There is nothing illegal in erecting fence across the road,” he said.
The PWD had handed over the 17-acre property to the KMRL around six months ago.
KMRL will build a theme-based leisure and entertainment zone in the area.
Activists say the project will destroy the green spot.
There are many rare trees and they offer a nesting space for many rare species of birds.
Now, the resident are protesting against the land acquisition for the project.