The work on four-laning the 8.24-km stretch from Mananchira to Vellimadukunnu that passes through Kozhikode city has been moving at a snail’s pace as the funds have not been fully credited to the Revenue Department.
A review meeting called by Public Works Minister P.A. Mohamed Riyas in Thiruvananthapuram on Wednesday said steps would be expedited for the completion of the road widening project. The National Highway wing of the Public Works Department (PWD) would be tasked with preparing an estimate for the purpose and funds would be released based on the estimate, it was decided.
However, sources said that the Revenue Department was yet to receive ₹134.5 crore for land acquisition which had been sanctioned on January 15 before the announcement of the last Assembly election. Only if the funds are made available can the remaining land be acquired under the Land Acquisition Act as well as a rehabilitation package be drawn up.
The four-laning of the Mananchira-Vellimadukunnu road was announced in the 2008 State Budget. However, it was only in 2012, that the Government decided to take up the project following an agitation by an action committee headed by historian M.G.S. Narayanan.
The proposal is to widen the road by 24 metres. A total of 3.4621 hectares of land is yet to be taken into possession under the Land Acquisition Act. The land acquired so far has not been attached to the existing road.
Previously, the Congress-led United Democratic Front government had sanctioned ₹64 crore for the project, out of which ₹4 crore was allocated for constructing a wall on government land. The previous CPI(M)-led Left Democratic Front government allotted ₹150 crore (₹50 crore in three tranches each). Later, no funds were released for the acquisition of land, said M.P. Vasudevan, general secretary of Mananchira-Vellimadukunnu Road Action Committee.
He said the Mananchira-Vellimadukunnu project had been given priority in the development of seven roads under the Kozhikode City Road Improvement Project. Even after a massive protest on the national highway leading to the arrest of Dr. Narayanan and Gandhian Thayat Balan, the government was dragging its feet on the project, alleged Mr. Vasudevan.
Meanwhile, the PWD has decided to demolish structures on the land from Eranhipalam to Malaparamba which had already been acquired by the Revenue Department for road widening. The area will be utilised for temporary parking facilities.
Source : https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/work-on-mananchira-vellimadukunnu-road-widening-project-in-kozhikode-district-moving-at-snails-pace/article37105087.ece402