NHAI, JK Govt pass buck on highway widening

‘Revenue Department Delaying Land Transfer’


Srinagar, May 20: The National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) and Jammu and Kashmir government are passing buck on each other over the delay of work on much hyped 4-laning of Jammu-Srinagar Highway, which is part of North-South corridor. Except for execution of work from Parimpora to Athwajan in Srinagar, where the work is nearing completion, the project has not taken off in Kashmir.
The NHAI puts blame on the state government over the inordinate delay in the work. “We have handed over Rs 2478 crores to the state Revenue department for acquisition of land, which has disbursed only 50% of this amount so far, resulting in delay in land acquisition. It is due to this delay that work on the project could not be started. We can’t start work until we get land for it,” a NHAI official told Greater Kashmir on the condition of anonymity.
“The entire road from Srinagar to Jammu requires 900 hectares of land for its 4-laning and we have been taking up the land acquisition issue with the state’s Revenue Department off and on, but it has failed to give us the land,” he added.
But state government is not ready to accept the blame, saying the delay is not due to the land problem. “We have handed over around 85% of land to NHAI and rest of the land comes under disputes or court cases, which will be cleared and handed over. There is no delay on part of the state government,” Secretary Revenue, Mehboob Iqbal, told Greater Kashmir.
The Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, Dr Asgar Samoon said, “The delay has been caused due to their (NHAI’s) problems and not by the state government.”
With a new deadline of three years, sources say project will not be completed within the timeframe as NHAI has not started even preliminary preparations for the execution of work.
“It is a project of Rs 9600 crore and there are many problems that need to be solved to start work on the project in the Valley. There will be much delay as no ground preparations are being made by NHAI,” sources said.

Lastupdate on : Fri, 20 May 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 20 May 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 21 May 2011 00:00:00 IST

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