NH Projects in Rajasthan Faces Hurdle
Land acquisition for construction of national highway (NH) projects continues to face major hurdle in state. As per official figures, award of about 330 hectares land which is needed under several NH works is pending. In addition to that, nearly 230 hectares of land is pending for declaration of final acquisition through publication of gazette notification by competent authority land acquisition.
According to officials of national highway authority of India, delay in providing land slows down pace of work and escalates cost. “Land Acquisition for highway construction is a key problem across India so as in Rajasthan,” said a NHAI official adding, it is SDM or ADM who are competent authority land acquisition. For them, implementation of state government schemes is first priority and land acquisition figures very low in that.
Districts that are lagging behind in awarding land of NH are Jodhpur, Nagaur, Bikaner and Udaipur. Though, officials claim that Rajasthan government has slammed its official asking to expedite the process.
Non-availability of land continues to delay construction of flyovers on Gurgaon-Jaipur stretch even seven years after work started on the corridor. As per policy decision, NHAI has decided not to invite any bids for road projects until it has completed the process of land acquisition and shifting of utilities and obtained in-principle forest clearance.
Similarly, authority will not commence work on structures, such as flyovers, bridges and rail over bridges, until it has 100% of the land available. This is among new norms that NHAI has set in its bid to end the trend of huge delay in highway construction on account of lack of required land, statutory clearances and shifting of utilities such as water and gas pipelines and power transmission lines.
Along with it, disbursement of compensation to land owners by competent authority land acquisitions is also proving to be a stumbling block. More than Rs 1,000 crore is lying undisbursed with various competent authority land acquisitions for more than six months. State government has asked officials of six districts where pendency is maximum to speed up the disbursement.