Thiruvananthapuram: SIA report recommends rehabilitation of people

Thiruvananthapuram

The district administration has published the Social Impact Assessment (SIA) study as part of the land acquisition for realignment of Parvathy Puthanarat Panathara. 

The study by the institute of rural development has recommended rehabilitation of people who will be evicted from Panathura, Koonamthuruthu and Kilayantemudumbu. As much as 54.105 acres of land belonging to 16 individuals will be acquired for the project. 

Besides a weighing bridge, a KSEB transformer, a tea shop and a coconut extract processing unit will also be affected. 

Opening the filled-up portion and setting up a lifting bridge at Panathura and constructing a new road bridge at Vazhamuttom are the two options which were put forward for implementing the scheme. 

A portion of the land of Panathura Sree Subrahmaniya Swamy Temple will also be affected. The administrative committee has already communicated that once the land is acquired, there won’t be sufficient plot to undertake any developmental activities. As per the report, there won’t be any environmental issues arising out of this project.

The land has to be acquired from families who are dependent on the coir sector and this would affect their livelihood.

The deadlock at Panathura has posed complex hurdles ahead of the ambitious government project to re-establish the navigational channel along Parvathy Puthanar and waterway connecting Kovalam to Akkulam.

On either side of the stretch lies the canal, stagnant and clogged. For the project to make a headway, the canal will have to cut through the road, necessitating acquisition of a portion of land to attain the desired width for the navigational channel.

While the original idea was to cut the road and connect two ends of the canal, the residents had opposed the move saying that it would affect religious festivities related to nearby Panathura temple and access for residents. 

The residents had raised an objection by citing a parallel path connecting Koonamthuruthu and Chenthilakkari by which ends of the canal could be connected. The officials estimate that going by this route would mean covering 800m and acquiring 7.5 acres of land.

Aswin J Kumar, TNN, Thiruvananthapuram

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