The Estimates Committee of the Assembly has mooted elevated highway in the densely populated areas and compensation for the displaced fishermen taking into account changes in their livelihood and their successive generations while going for the 657-km coastal highway that will traverse nine districts.
Adalats during the time of land acquisition to take into confidence the citizens and clear their apprehensions and social impact assessment study on land acquisition and rehabilitation figure among the series of measures mooted by the estimates committee headed by former Minister and CPI(M) legislator S. Sharma.
Environmental impact assessment study has been recommended if the construction works are to be taken on the fish-breeding places and other areas along the coast.
The Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) norms will have to be complied with if the construction activities are involved in mangroves, corals and fish-breeding places and permission will have to be sought.
The estimates committee, in its 23rd report, has said the construction of the tetrapod for protecting the proposed highway will have to be included while the Detailed Project Report (DPR) of the coastal highway is being prepared. The long-term safety aspects of the highway should also be ensured.
A scientific study on the road and transportation infrastructure, accident prone stretches in the locality and link roads to the coastal highway has been mooted before finalising the alignment.
The alignment and the project details should be shared with the legislators and the elected representatives of the area and their opinion should be sought by the implementing department.
Steps sought to cut cost
Carriageway of adequate width near the coastal highway should be merged to the alignment of the highway to reduce the cost of the project, displacement and rehabilitation of the people.
The estimates committee has also suggested installation of the street lights along the coastal highway and the contract for the maintenance of the street lights in the agreement.
Planting of trees on both sides of the coastal highway corridors had been mooted to reduce pollution from vehicles.
For the long distance travellers using the coastal highway, the committee has mooted comfort stations and rest places under the Vazhiyooram project of Kerala Tourism. The executing department had been asked to take care to acquire the needed land for such facilities while acquiring land for the project.
The committee has also called for cooperation and coordination between PWD, Revenue, LSG and Ports departments
Aimed at improving the road connectivity of the coastal belt of the State, the proposed coastal highway starts from Poovar in Thiruvananthapuram and ends at Kunjathoor, near Thalapady, in Kasaragod district.
To be constructed at a cost of 6,048 crore to be sourced from the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB), it will traverse Kollam, Alappuzha, Ernakulum, Thrissur, Malappuram, Kozhikode and Kannur districts.