Close on the heels of the Central Government stalling all development of national and state highways in Kerala, except in Kasaragod district, State Finance Minister Thomas Isaac has accused BJP state president of being behind this. Isaac, in a Facebook post with a copy of a letter, said Pillai wrote to Union Minister Nitin Gadkari. In the letter, requesting him to stop land acquisition procedures for National Highway development in Kerala.
National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has put on hold all work relating to development of over 1,000 km of national and state highways in Kerala (SH) under the Bharatmala Pariyojana in Kerala. Four and six-lane work and land acquisition in all districts, except Kasaragod, has been suspended by NHAI.
PWD Minister G Sudharakan has already taken up the matter with Gadkari and dashed off a letter to him. On Monday, Isaac's FB post quoted Pillai's letter of September 14, 2018, to Gadkari. It says that with reference to development of the stretch of NH 66 between Edappally and Moothakunnam, Gadkari should intervene and stay acquisition of land and its development as the area was affected by the August flood. It also clearly states that the Union Minister should keep on abeyance all land acquisition proceedings for the time being.
Isaac's post says that after assuming charge as BJP state president, Pillai tried to subvert development projects in Kerala. “We should declare him as public enemy and impose social ban on him for subverting NH development in Kerala," the post says. "We should not allow him to cheat us with his sweet words," Isaac adds.
The Central Government order stalling all activities was received at National Highway regional offices on Saturday. Any kind of construction works and tender procedures would not be initiated in any places in Kerala except Kasaragod. These places were replaced to the second priority list. Minister Sudharakan’s letter demanded that the Centre not to exclude the places from first priority list as 80 per cent of land acquisition for NH development had completed in these places.