Thursday, June 17, 2010

Road widening: traders demand rehabilitation package

Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala Vyapari Vyavasayi Ekopana Samithi (KVVES) has demanded a rehabilitation package for traders who will be evicted for widening of national highways (NHs) in the State.

Addressing a press conference here on Thursday, KVVES leaders Alex M. Chacko, Mariyil Krishnan Nair and Peringammala Ramachandran urged the government to cap the width of the national highways in the State at 30.5 metres. They also called for amending the existing laws to ensure proper resettlement of the evicted families and adequate compensation for traders who lose their livelihood.

The leaders said the government had failed to utilise the land already acquired for widening the NH 47 and NH 17. �The acquired land has been lying idle for years. The evicted families have not been adequately compensated. The same fate might befall the proposed widening project also, they said.

Mr. Ramachandran said thousands of traders on both sides of the highway would lose their means of livelihood if they were evicted.

�They have invested heavily in shops and showrooms. Thousands of people depend on these establishments for a living,� he said. �Traders are not against widening of roads. But they cannot give up their means of livelihood for development purpose,� he said.

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