UDUPI: About 63 persons who will lose land to NH 66 widening project along Kundapur and Hejamady stretch are planning to move the Supreme Court before April 15 after HC quashed their petitions. They had sought in the high court to give direction to restrict the the width of NH66 to 45 metres as in the case of Dakshina Kannada district instead of the proposed 60 metres and NHAI to acquire land only to that extend.
The number of persons to move to the apex court is expected to increase as there is still 90 days to appeal before the Supreme Court after petitioners receiving the high court judgment copy. NHAI had taken up widening of the highway stretch between Kundapur and Surathkal, and Nanthoor Junction and Talapady under phase III of the National Highways Development Project (NHDP) under build, operate, and transfer (BOT) basis.
Ashok Raj, president of National Highway 66 Land Acquisition Action Committee, told TOI that in Dakshina Kannada the width of the four-lane highway has been restricted to 45 metres. ” However, in Udupi the width is 60 metres and it is discriminatory. All those who are likely to lose their land will move to the apex court seeking justice before April 15. The high court judgment copy is expected to arrive within a weeks time,” he added.
Wilfred Fernandes, a petitioner, has decided to communicate the grievance with road transport and highway minister CP Joshi through the website www.morth.nic.in.hangout.asp as the minister will be on Google Hangout on March 29 at 7.30pm.
This time around petitioners are planning to appoint an advocate from the region who is familiar with the issue as they feel an advocate from outside could not argue their case effectively in the high court.