THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Demanding a better , people who gave away their land for works of Mukkola-Karode stretch will launch an indefinite protest against authority of India (NHAI) from Tuesday.
A march and dharna will be held in front of NHAI regional office at Palkulangara on Tuesday. K Ansalan MLA will inaugurate the dharna at 10.30am.

Kazhakkoottam-Karode bypass action council patron and former MLA Jameela Prakasham said that the NHAI was doing injustice by denying reasonable compensation for the land owners in villages such as Kottukal, Kanjiramkulam, Thirupuram, Chenkal and Karode.

Prakasham said that majority of land owners didn’t receive compensation by the end of 2014, which makes them eligible for compensation under first schedule of the new land acquisition act. The action council has also alleged that the NHAI was harassing them by filing case in high court against the arbitration awarded by district collector. The action council had demanded NHAI to revoke cases filed against them immediately.

According to action council chairman V Sudhakaran, the issues began when district administration backtracked from the compensation agreed during the district level purchase committee (DLPC) meeting in 2013. The meeting had announced Rs 5.25 lakh per cent for A category land. Owners of B, C, D and E categories were to get 10% lesser amounts. Though the amount was agreed for Kottukal, Kanjiramkulam and Thirupuram villages, the DLPC didn’t offer similar rates for lands in Chenkal and Karode, which resulted in a tussle between the then district collector and action council. Former district collector K N Satheesh then cancelled the DLPC and arbitrarily fixed the compensation. Following this, A category land owners got only Rs 3.75 lakh.

District collector was appointed as an arbitrator when the land owners launched a protest in 2017. Former district collector S Venkatesapathi had announced 15% hike for 165 complainants and district collector K Vasuki announced 50% hike. However, NHAI has filed appeal against this.

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