Road widening: Corporationp in a fix over land acquired
Nov 04, 2013
Source : The Times of India
KOCHI: With the government deciding to reduce the width of Thammanam-Pulleppady road to 18 metres from the proposed 22 meters, the Kochi corporation has a new headache on what to do with the land acquired for the original plan to widen the stretch.

Following the corporation's notification, 94 plots were handed over free of cost by the owners to the civic body on the stretch. The corporation had also initiated the move to issue 4(1) notification for acquiring the remaining land.

"A new policy decision has been announced and the corporation will have to decide how it intends to compensate the people who were forced to give up land and whether they intend to return the excess land taken over by them," said a senior corporation official. The local body has already obtained property mutation certificates for these plots.

The corporation has to also transfer the ownership of the road to public works department (PWD) for road widening. Though mayor Tony Chammany will put up a proposal before the council to facilitate the handing over the road to PWD, it is unclear how the local body will facilitate transfer process.

"Recently, the corporation had initiated the process of issuing 4(1) notification for acquiring the remaining land. But if PWD takes over the ownership of the road, they will have to start the process all over again," the official said. The PWD will have to revise land acquisition and construction costs based on the new width.

According to the previous plan, the corporation required about 20 acres for road widening and rehabilitation. While 10 acres were required for road widening activities, the remaining 10 acres were required for rehabilitation. For maintaining a width of 22 meters, the local body required about Rs 171 crore for land acquisition alone. It was pointed out that the amount could go up to Rs 200 crore.

Meanwhile, development standing committee chairman T J Vinod said that it was too early to comment on the issue. "I learnt about chief minister Oommen Chandy's decision through the media. So far, we haven't had a discussion on the issue," he said.

At the meeting presided over by the chief minister, it was decided to transfer the ownership of the road to PWD for widening works. The state government has already provided Rs 25 crore for the project.


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