MANGALORE Jan 4: Navayuga - Krishnapatnam Port Company Limited (KPCL) (Chinta Visveswara Rao, Chairman) Consortium, has bagged the contract for widening the 90-km stretch between Kundapur and Surathkal and Nanthoor and Talapady on the National Highway 17 into four-lane.
The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has chosen this company for the project on build-operate and transfer (BoT) basis. The project is estimated to cost Rs. 674 crore.
However, this may not mean that the work will commence immediately. The NHAI, some time ago, adopted a policy under which it will take up any project only after the State Government completes issuance of final land acquisition notification to 80 per cent of the properties to be taken over. It also expects the State Government to complete the issuance of preliminary notifications to the remaining 20 per cent of properties. Considering this, the commencement of work on this particular project may be delayed, even as the Karnataka Government is lagging behind in acquiring land.
Sources said that of the properties to be acquired in the 65 villages in Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts, the Government had issued final notifications only in six villages between Surathkal and Mulky in Dakshina Kannada. The preliminary notification had been published in 35 villages between Mulky and Kundapur in Udupi district. The process of publishing the preliminary notifications on land acquisition in nine villages between Nanthoor and Talapady in Dakshina Kannada is under way. In what is termed a lapse on the part of Dakshina Kannada administration, the Government had published preliminary notifications in eight villages between Surathkal and Mulky. But, when the final notification was published, the lands notified in Karnad and Mulky had been dropped. As a result, the preliminary notification issued for acquiring land in the two villages lost its value. This is because the law specifies that the final notification should be issued within one year of the preliminary notification. The Government will have to issue fresh preliminary notification for acquiring land in the two villages. In all, properties have to be acquired in 48 villages between Mulky and Kundapur. Sources said that the Union Government was likely to sign a State Support Agreement with the Karnataka Government before taking up Kundapur-Talapady project. Once the agreement is signed, it will make the State Government legally bound to extend all support for the smooth completion of the project. The distance between Surathkal and Kundapur is 74 km and it is 16 km between Nanthoor and Talpady.