The Kangarappady Road Development Project launched with much hype has reached nowhere even a year and a half after the work began. The project, which the Public Works Department (PWD) claimed to take just six months for completion, has been lagging ever since thanks to the apathy of the PWD officials and the disputes over land acquisition.
Though the project can be easily executed, according to the local people, the stance of a private party who has to surrender the land has threatened to wreck the whole project.
Though the 30-metre road work had reached its final lap, the non-cooperation of an individual has put the project on a stand-still. “About two metres owned by this person, which comes within the area surveyed for the road, has to be acquired to complete the road project. But, the PWD shows no interest,” said Chandran, convener, Road Development Action Council.
He added that the private party, however, has received compensation for the land that has to be acquired. “Altogether, the property of 105 individuals were acquired for the road and compensation were given to all of them. Out of it, 104 people have given up their land for the road, except one,” said Chandran.
When contacted, the owner of the house in dispute, claimed that the PWD has not informed him about land acquiring. “So far, there is no intimation from the PWD. Why should I give up my land then?” he said.
Interestingly, the owner, who is also a municipal government contractor, admitted that he had received compensation for surrendering a portion of his land to the government.
However, the PWD seems to be unaware of the imbroglio. “We do not know about the issue,” said an official of the department. He assured that action will be taken if he gets any such complaint.
Meanwhile, the action council has informed that they are going to take up the issue with the PWD. “What sort of justice is this ? We are waiting for the road for more than a year. Our houses were demolished for the road work and there is only one more house. What is stopping the PWD from completing their work?, said Chandran.
Earlier, the public had raised complaints about the low quality of the soil being used for the construction and that the lack of PWD supervisors. The PWD is yet to respond in this regard.