NH project: Kerala govt to put pressure on Centre for more compensation

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the state government would continue to exert pressure on the Centre seeking more compensation for people whose land was acquired for the much-awaited National Highway 66 project.

Extending support to the government over the issue, Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala said the national highway was essential for the development of the basic infrastructure of the southern state, but urged the government to ensure fair compensation.

Replying to an adjournment motion in the Assembly on the issue, Vijayan said it would be difficult for the government to implement the compensation package which it had announced for the state projects, in the case of the national highway.

"At one stage, the Centre had taken a stand that it was not possible to acquire land in Kerala due to the exorbitant price of the land. But, the state government had convinced them that the density of population had made the land value high in the state," he said.

The Chief Minister admitted that a section of people, especially traders, who are running business in rented shops for many years would be severely affected by the land acquisition as they would lose their means for livelihood.

"We will continue to put pressure on the Centre for assuring better compensation for people whose land is acquired for the NH," he said.

(with news agency inputs)