National Highway 66 work progress at Thalappady near Kerala Karnataka border. File photo | Photo: Mathrubhumi
Haripad: The Kerala government has acquired 98.92 per cent of the land required for the development of National Highway 66.
Out of the 1082.07-hectare land required for the expansion of the road into a six-lane, 1070.42 hectare has been acquired. The land is spread across nine coastal districts from Kasaragod to Thiruvananthapuram.
Meanwhile, the land acquisition did not face much opposition from the affected people unlike in the case of NH 544 or other public projects.
Private land and buildings were given double the amount of the estimated rate as per the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013. The protests were avoided because the amount offered was satisfactory.
Out of 22,186.45 cr handed over to the special deputy collector, 21,218.45 cr has been distributed already.
The process to expand the road was started in 2010. Land acquisition notifications were issued in several districts, but the lapses in issuing a final notification within a year delayed the process. It gained momentum again in 2018.
Only 610 of the 39,139 structures on the acquired land remain to be demolished.