New Delhi/Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Tuesday met Union Transport Minster Nitin Gadkari and sought his immediate intervention for the development of National Highways in the State.
Vijayan, who met Gadkari in New Delhi, said the union minister had assured him that immediate action would be taken and reprimanded officials for the delay in the matter.
Kerala had approached the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways for expediting the four/six laning of the 600 km NH corridor from Kasaragod in the north to the southernmost part in Thiruvananthapuram after agreeing to share 25 per cent of the cost of the remaining land to be acquired.
"We (Gadkari and Vijayan) discussed the development of the National Highways in the state.The decision in this regard was already taken but there was no follow up from the authorities concerned.
The minister understood the gravity of the situation and said our demands were just," Vijayan said.
Over 1,100 hectares have to be acquired in the State at a cost of over Rs 21,000 crore for the NH development.
The state had agreed to give over Rs 5,000 crore as its share to the National Highway Authority of India for acquiring the remaining land.
"The minister understood the gravity of the issue and took a strong stand. He said there was no justification in the delay and promised to take immediate action on the matter.
He lashed out at the officials for the delay and assured us speedy resolution of the matter," Vijayan said.
Kerala has demanded that land acquisition cost for highway development in the state was much higher when compared to other states and sought reasonable compensation from the centre.
The chief minister also met Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri and demanded a check-in counter at Jawaharlal Nehru stadium metro station for passengers arriving at Cochin International Airport.
The state also pressed for the second phase of Metro development in Kochi from the JLN stadium to infopark, Vijayan said.