KOCHI: The National Highway Protection Samithi will conduct a march on November 20 from Thiruvananthapuram to Kasargod along the coastal districts, in protest against the government’s move to displace residents near the national highway as part of the widening of the Edappally-Moothakunnam stretch.
Samithi convener Hashim Chennampilly told reporters here that the people living on the sides of the national highway were being victimised for the second time in six years, in the name of widening the National Highway 17.
In the first phase of the expansion, which was completed in 2006, around 700 families were evicted from the sides of the Edappally-Moothakunnam stretch, for widening the road to 30 metres.
Ironically, most of them are now being asked to surrender their remaining lands also, with the government planning to acquired 7.5 metres of land from both sides and widen the road to 45 metres.
“The ‘impractical decision’ taken by the State Government to widen the national highway will only lead to massive displacement, corruption, huge tolls and environmental problems,” Hashim Chennampilly said.
“So far, those who were evicted for the first phase of the road widening have not received the full compensation,” Hashim Chennampilly added.