The November deadline set by the chief minister for beginning the monorail construction here in the Mission 676 document is unlikely to materialize with land acquisition continuing to be a hurdle for the project.
PWD sources said the project may take off on time in Kozhikode; but the capital would have to clear several land acquisition hurdles .
The DMRC, which is executing the project, had asked the government to widen the road from Kazhakoottam to Kesavadasapuram on a war footing. But, no step has been taken to acquire land. Sources said PWD has already informed the works minister that the project is unlikely to take off for another two years.
A major blow to the project was the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013. The act mandates that the government compensate landowners with double the market value of the land. The market value of land along the stretch is so high that even the state planning board had advised the government to consider an alternative route for the monorail.
NATPAC had proposed widening the Kazhakoottam — Kesavadasapuram stretch of NH 47 from 10 metres to 30 metres. This was later reduced to 24 metres. Market price of the land along the stretch is between Rs 10-25 lakh a cent, which means paying compensation as per the new law is hardly a viable option.
DMRC has divided the project into three sections to provide more time for road widening: the section from Technocity to Kariyavattom, and Kesavadasapuram to Karamana would be completed in the first phase in three years, and the stretch from Kazhakoottam to Kesavadasapuram in the two years that would follow. However, since the government is yet to formulate its land acquisition policy, road widening works are unlikely to begin this year.
PWD officials said opposition against the project alignment along Valiyasala Agraharam is also a hurdle. “It is impossible to change the alignment to NH 47 beyond Thampanoor,” a PWD official said.
TRIDA chairman P K Venugopal agreed that the new land acquisition policy had changed the entire picture. “Widening Kazhakoottam-Kesavadaspuram stretch would necessitate a huge amount. The government will take a decision once the elections results are out,” he said.
Chief minister Oommen Chandy has, meanwhile, announced that the deadline for global tender will end on May 31 and the project would begin by November.
However, sources in PWD informed that only Kozhikode project would take off.
News Sourced from Times of India dated 10.05.2014