Friday, 24 October 2014

Kerala agrees to widen NHs to 45 metres

Liberal compensation to be given for land taken over for development

The Cabinet on Thursday decided to agree to the Central stipulation that national highways should be developed with a minimum width of 45 metres.
The Centre had refused to fund development of the national highways in the State for several years now as the State was not willing to acquire sufficient land despite the Centre relaxing the norm from 60 to 45 metres for Kerala.
Chief Minister Oommen Chandy told the media after the Cabinet meeting that the Cabinet decided to provide liberal compensation for land taken over for road development, drawing of electric lines, and laying of pipelines.
Market prices would be offered for land taken over for road development. Compensation would be paid in a time-bound manner.
The Chief Minister said the Centre was proposing to widen the national highways from Cherthala to Kazhakuttam and Edappally to the Karnataka border near Mangalore. The Centre wanted to be assured of availability of at least 80 per cent of the land it needed to take up the development of the highways.
Mr. Chandy said he had discussions with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in this regard when he approached him for a revival package for Fertilizers and Chemicals Travancore (FACT).
The Prime Minister had asked why the State government could not provide land for laying of gas pipelines so that FACT could reduce its raw material costs.
He said the Cabinet decision to exempt toll on bridges costing up to Rs.10 crore would be made applicable to bridges completed in the past also. The earlier limit for exemption was Rs.5 crore and collection of toll would now be discontinued for bridges that cost between Rs.5 crore and Rs.10 crore.