Hitches in land acquisition delay highway projects

PTI New Delhi | Updated on December 12, 2011

The Government today said that problems in land acquisition was one of the main factors for the delay in the implementation of National Highways Development projects.

Answering queries on the issue during Question Hour in the Lok Sabha, the Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Mr C.P. Joshi, said: “Land acquisition is one of the factors contributing to delay in the implementation of some projects under NHDP.”

Out of the 226 projects under implementation by NHAI (National Highways Authority of India), 58 projects are currently delayed due to multiple reasons including land acquisition, he added.

The issues causing hindrance in the NHAI projects are forest clearance, poor performance of contractors and utility shifting.

Mr Joshi said protection of wildlife during acquisition of land should be ensured while the responsibility of forest clearance lay with the state governments.

Ms Supriya Sule (NCP) sought to know why environmental clearances are not taken at the initial stage of the highway projects despite the authorities being aware that this is a must and causes delay.

Mr Joshi said this issue is being looked into and assured the House that his ministry tried to avoid any harm caused to wildlife in the acquisition of land for the highway projects. On forest clearances, he maintained that since this was to be done by the states, they should cooperate in giving the go-ahead.

The ministry is also forming land acquisition units at the district and tehsildar levels to smoothen the process.

Published on December 12, 2011

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