Thiruvananthapuram: Days after a letter by state BJP chief P.S. Sreedharan Pillai written to the Centre asking it to stall a national highway project became public, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Tuesday slammed the activities of the right wing forces for hindering the state’s development.
“His letter came at a time when the Left government had revived the process of land acquisition in the national highway development project cutting across our state,” Vijayan said after chairing a cabinet meeting here.
The chief minister was reacting to Pillai’s letter to Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari.
State Finance Minister Thomas Issac in a Facebook post had carried a picture of the Pillai letter, dated September 14, 2018, requesting to stay land acquisition proceedings for NH 66 which passes through the Edappally-Moothakunnam route in Ernakulam district.
In the letter, Pillai said that he has attached a representation by the ‘NH 17 Samyuktha Samrakshana Samithi’ of Ernakulam district, “with regard to the anxiety over the 3A notification and land acquisition proceedings of National Highway Authority of India”.
“It is also requested to keep the land acquisition proceedings in abeyance for a while,” Pillai had told Gadkari.
Meanwhile, the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) prioritised development projects into two categories — Priority I (High priority projects which will be taken up immediately) and Priority II.
According to media reports, the development of the NH and SH corridors in the state has been included in Priority II list. The Priority II projects will have to wait another two years to begin.
The only exceptions, placed on Priority I list, are highways from Thalapady-Chengala and Chengala-Nileswaram in Kasaragod district.
The widening of the national highway in Kerala will thus have to wait till 2021 — the year the current term of the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government gets over.
Vijayan said: “This shows the sadistic nature of the Sangh Parivar forces, who have played no part in the development of our state.