KOZHIKODE: The much-touted Mananchira-Vellimadukunnu road widening project has not moved an inch as the state government has failed to release the announced financial package for the project. Though district administration has completed 85 per cent of the land acquisition process, the project announced during the tenure of the UDF Government is still on paper, as there is no fund to allow the compensation package for the displaced.
The widening of the 8.4-km-long stretch of the existing Mananchira-Vellimadukunnu project is estimated to cost C120 crore in addition to the C350 crore required to pay as compensation. But, as of now, the government had only released a fund of C114 crore till date for the project. A sum of C60 crore was released during the UDF Government to acquire land and C4 crore was allowed to construct protection walls. The LDF Government had allocated a fund of C50 crore in September.
Though the LDF had given hype for the project, nothing has borne fruit since they came to power. According to the Mananchira-Vellimadukunnu Road Action Council general secretary M P Vasudevan, the Ministers of Finance and Public Works Department had failed to keep their word. “The Finance Minister had assured us the road will be developed under the KIIFB project fund. But nothing was done,” he said.
“A paltry sum of C50 crore was announced in May after we threatened to protest. But even this was allowed only in September,” Vasudevan said.
Presently, an amount of C150 crore is needed to acquire the property of those who had agreed to give up their land for the project. Also, the district administration is yet to acquire 87 cents as owners are not willing to give up their land. District Collector U V Jose told Express the district administration has asked for an immediate allocation of an amount of C100 crore. “We have asked for the money to pay the compensation and acquire the land,” he said. The district administration had already utilised the sanctioned money to pay compensation.