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NH-66 widening: Land acquisition to commence following Kerala HC verdict

To develop road without affecting major structures of places of worship, say NHAI officials

Published: 25th July 2021 06:59 AM  |   Last Updated: 25th July 2021 06:59 AM   |  A+A-

Kerala High Court

Kerala High Court (File Photo| A Sanesh, EPS)

Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: With the High Court pronouncing a landmark judgement by dismissing writ petitions against the land acquisition affecting some religious institutions for the widening of NH 66, a major hurdle for the proposed six-laning of its stretch from Kazhakootam to Thuravoor has been cleared. As per the statistics available with the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), 35 places of worship posed a hurdle for the development of the NH 66 from Kazhakootam to Cherthala alone. 

In the first phase of the work from Kazhakootam to Kadampattukonam itself, authorities of a temple at Attingal moved legally against the land acquisition for the proposed bypass at Attingal. Similarly, there were problems in acquiring land at several locations due to opposition from locals as it affected temples, churches and mosques which located on the either side of the road.

According to the officials of NHAI, they will proceed with the land acquisition  where the local people agitated. However, they also said that they respect the people’s beliefs and are trying to develop the road without affecting the major structures of places of worship.

On Friday, High Court judge P V Kunhikrishnan stated, “For the development of the national highways in the state, if religious institutions are affected, God will forgive us.” The court made this observation while dismissing a batch of petitions challenging the acquisition proceedings for the national highway development in Kollam district citing that it will affect places of worship.

A senior NHAI official told TNIE that the authority welcomes the HC judgement as it is a long standing issue which caused inordinate  delay. The Kazhakoottam-Thuravoor stretch will be developed as per Indian Road Congress  standards and constructed on the Engineering, Procurement, Construction (EPC) model.



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