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28 NH works in Tamil Nadu linger on, reasons vary
About 28 National Highway works in the State including the widening of Chennai-Tada Highway, Sriperumbudur-Wallajahpet and Wallajahpet-Krishnagiri stretches are facing delays owing to various reasons including COVID-induced lockdown and delay in land acquisition.
The same was asserted by the Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari, who replying to a query raised by Rajya Sabha members Tiruchi Siva and A Vijayakumar, said the delay in timely completion of projects is mainly due to delay or non-granting of permission for extraction of borrow earth, COVID, delay in land acquisition, forest and environment clearances, shifting of utility services and slow progress of works by contractors.
On the question of delay due to non-payment of designated compensation for the land acquired for the national highways, the minister explained that the land for the development of National Highways is acquired under provisions of NH Act, 1956. “The compensation for land acquired for NH projects is determined by CALA as per the procedure laid down in NH Act. Pursuant to the enactment of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013, the provisions regarding determination of the compensation of RFCTLARR Act are made applicable to NH Act with effect from January 1, 2015, in terms of sections 105 (3) of the RFCTLARR Act, 2013,” he said, adding the Centre has issued various circulars or guidelines including detailed land acquisition manual for applicability of provisions and determination of compensation.
NHAI source said all highway projects face delays due to one or another reason. “Major reason for the delay in the road widening projects was the unavailability of the burrow sand,” the source said, adding consequent to the high-level meetings held by the state highways ministers, the government has started identifying poromboke land for taking burrow sand.
“Already one such site was identified in Ranipet district and works are underway to identify poromboke lands in Kancheepuram,” sources said.
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