Wide or not? – A debate on the width of Highways

TEN India, a group of techie volunteers in Kerala have come out with a campaign that aims to solicit public opinion on the recent “width of highways” debate.

The campaign aptly called – ‘Wide or not‘ allows the people to have their say, whether the highways of Kerala to be made with widths of 45 metres or 30 metres. Click here to have your say in the debate and read through other voters comments to get a feel of the public perception of the debacle.

The Union Government had mentioned earlier that new highways should be developed on a build-operate-and-transfer (BOT) basis, with a width of at least 60 metres. This resulted widespread protests across the state, as thousands of families face the peril of being removed from their lands.The National Highway Authority of India which oversees the standards of highways across the country looked into the issue and reduced the width from the standard 60 m to 45m for Kerala, considering its population density and other factors.

However the state government has demanded that the width be further reduced to 30 metres so that many people do not become homeless and the highways do not divide the state into two parts.

The sudden increase in the number of vehicles in the State in the recent years has created havoc on the highways. According to official figures, 35,433 road accidents took place in the State in 2009.

Majority of the political parties promote wide highways which will boost up the State’s economy in tourism and industrial sectors. Commercial bodies like the Kerala Chamber of Commerce and Industry have strongly demanded that the national highways should be developed with a width of 45 meters.

What do you, the public think about this? Go on to:

http://www.tenindia.org/wideornot

and speak your thoughts!

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