Delays in land acquisition stall road projects worth Rs 15,000 crore
Delay in land acquisition is proving to be a stumbling block in expediting road projects as 16 schemes worth about Rs 15,000 crore are stalled due to it.
"Sixteen major highway projects in four states entailing about Rs 15,000 crore investment are stalled due to inordinate delays in land acquisition," a Road Transport and Highways Ministry official said.
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Of the 16 projects, seven are in West Bengal, six in Kerala, two in Goa and one in Tamil Nadu, the official said.
These include several key projects including Chennai Port-Maduravoyal road in Tamil Nadu, Bahrampore-Farakka and Krishnanagar-Bahrampore projects in West Bengal, Cherthalai-Ochira and Thiruananthapuram-Kerala/TN Border projects in Kerala and Goa/Karnataka Border-Panaji in Goa.
The official said that though the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has taken up the matter of expediting land acquisition for projects, delays were also hindering Road Ministry's target of building 20 km of roads a day.
Last week, the DMK raised the issue of delay in Rs 1,815-crore Chennai Port to Maduravoyal elevated link road project in Rajya Sabha stating that state government was hindering it.
DMK's Kanimozhi has alleged, "The state government (Tamil Nadu) is trying to stall the project, which the Prime Minister has declared as one more important milestone to boost infrastructure projects."
In Kerala, as per information, traders are opposed to 60-metre national standard for four-lane highways demanding reduction of the length while the political parties are supporting it.
Earlier, Road Transport Minister C P Joshi had told Lok Sabha that "land acquisition is one of the factors contributing to delay in implementation of some projects under NHDP."
Out of the 226 projects under implementation by NHAI, 58 projects are delayed due to multiple reasons, including land acquisition.
The government soon after coming to power in 2009 has announced to build 35,000 km of roads in five years, which translates into building 20 km of roads a day.
However, it is yet to achieve the target despite Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expressing concern over it. The Road Ministry had attributed the delays in achieving the target to various factors including problems in land acquisition.
During 2011-12, on an average 10.39 km of roads were constructed in a day.