THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: PWD Minister G Sudhakaran has sought withdrawal of the Union Government’s order excluding places except Kasargod in the state from the first priority list of National Highway development in a letter to Union Minister for National Highways, Roads and Transport, Nitin Gadkari.
All the national highway regional offices in the state received a message from the centre that any kind of construction and tender procedures for the development of national highways in the state would not proceed in the state except in Kasargod.
Eventually, other districts have been placed under the second priority list. This irked the state government as they feel the centre’s move is politically motivated.
In the new order, the Union government has reshuffled the list and made Kerala and Karnataka into the second priority list for the NH development.
Earlier, Sudhakaran had accused the Union Government of stalling the State government’s efforts to acquire land for the development of the NH in the State. He had said that the Union government had not yet released funds to be paid as compensation to landowners.
According to Sudhakaran, eighty per cent of land acquisition has been completed in most of the districts and the unexpected order from the centre has put a halt on the land acquisition proceedings.
While the State government had been pleading the Centre for the past two-and-a-half years to acquire land, the latter suspended the works by not even permitting the survey stones to be laid as part of the acquisition process, he alleged.