Many now willing to surrender land for hill highway in Kozhikode

Intervention by people’s representatives yields results

The reluctance of local landowners to hand over their property for the proposed hill highway project is fading away in the rural areas of Kozhikode district as a result of the intervention of people’s representatives to settle disputes. They personally visit landholders and convince them of the importance of the project for local development and improved rural road connectivity.

In Thiruvambady and Koodaranhi areas, many of the families that opposed the move to acquire land are now willing to cooperate with the project. Action committees constituted against the project are also cooperating with mediation attempts.

A local body member from Koodaranhi said many landowners from his village handed over consent letters to Thiruvambady MLA Linto Joseph during his visit to the project area on Monday. Many others had also agreed to hand over land, he said.

The main reason behind the opposition to the project was the decision of the government to take over wayside properties without any compensation package. Though there were a number of local action committees which sought a comprehensive package for those who hand over land for the highway project, the government did not consider it citing financial constraints.

The total length of the hill highway in the district will be around 120 km, which will be part of the Statewide highway network of 1,332-km long hill highway. The work will be executed in four phases after acquiring land. For the final phase of the project, the consent of nearly 1,000 landowners will have to be obtained by the Public Works Department.

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