Union Minister Nitin Gadkari today said development of national highways in Kerala has been affected owing to land acquisition problems. Speaking at the inaugural function of a convention centre of UAE-based retail conglomerate Lulu Group, he said. The minister said the Centre wanted to allocate more roads to Kerala, but land acquisition was a problem. “I am ready to give lot of money to Kerala, but it is very difficult for us to get land,” he said.
Referring to the protests against survey being taken up for roads in Kannur and Malappuram districts, Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways, Shipping and Water Resources asked the state government to speed up the process of land acquisition for the highway projects, Later, Gadkari and the Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan held a review meeting in which State Chief Secretary Paul Anthony, District Collectors and officials of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) took part.
A group of farmers under the banner of ‘Vayalkillikal’ (ricebirds) in Kannur district had been protesting against the taking over of the lands for construction of National Highways. Speaking to reporters after the review meet, state Minister for Public Works G Sudhakaran said,”It will take four months to complete the land acquisition in the districts. We hope the development work commences by November this year after completing the tender process.” Leader of Opposition in the assembly Ramesh Chennithala and senior leaders of all major political parties of the state were present at the inaugural function.