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Saturday, January 28, 2023

Development of MG Road-Thammanam-NH bypass caught in red tape

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The narrow Pullepady Road just short of Kathrikadavu Junction.
| Photo Credit: R.K. Nithin  

The development of the MG Road-Pullepady-Thammanam-NH bypass corridor as a 22-metre-wide four-lane stretch is caught in red tape, even as the Kerala Road Fund Board (KRFB) has begun peg marking on the stretch to demarcate its boundary.

The work, which is a prelude to laying boundary stones for commencing land acquisition on the 3-km stretch, will be completed in a month’s time. It will decide the central line of the alignment through which the road will be realised, sources said.

With a few landowners who had surrendered land free of cost to the Kochi Corporation over two decades ago reportedly objecting to the peg marking work at Thammanam, personnel are at present carrying out work in other areas. They have sought the intervention of peoples’ representatives in the matter, it is learnt.

While acknowledging the selfless act of such landowners, sources in the Corporation said they could not be offered compensation as per the existing rules. “Neither can they be given relaxation on floor-area ratio [FAR] norms if they built a house or commercial structure on the remaining land,” they added.

They expressed dismay at the Revenue department not yet completing paper work to hand over the road owned by the Corporation to the Public Works department (PWD), although the PWD had entrusted the development of the road to the KRFB. It appears that the file is caught in red tape at the State Secretariat. The Corporation had handed over the road to the Revenue department over a year ago.

Of the total 217.9 ares, 163.11 ares were handed over free of cost by 84 owners, while the Corporation paid compensation for acquiring 54.7 ares from 45 persons to realise the road.

In the meantime, many encroachments on the road are yet to be cleared, even as the deadline expires on December 10.

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