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Himachal

Posted at: Jul 12, 2018, 12:30 AM; last updated: Jul 12, 2018, 12:30 AM (IST)

Nalagarh four-laning project hits roadblock

Highways authority terms cost of land acquisition in Himachal and Haryana exorbitant

Earlier stand

  • The issue has become a cause for concern and cast a shadow over itsfurther execution
  • Though the NHAI officials had earlier said they would only strengthen the portion of road lying in Haryana, given its high cost of acquisition, the officials now say that even the cost of acquisition in Himachal is exorbitant
Nalagarh four-laning project hits roadblock
The Baddi-Nalagarh highway. File photo

Ambika Sharma

Tribune News Service

Solan, July 11

Uncertainty looms large over the crucial four-laning project on the Pinjore-Nalagarh section of National Highway (NH) 21-A with the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) objecting to the high cost of land acquisition.

A letter had been written to the state government by senior officials of the NHAI where they had raised concerns over the high cost of acquisition in Himachal as well as Haryana.

Terming it exorbitant, the NHAI officials had contended that the cost of land acquisition was much higher than the cost of the civil structure which would be raised to four-lane the road. An amount of Rs 124 crore had been disbursed in Himachal to 1,604 of the 2,200 beneficiaries, revealed officials of the national highway.

The issue has become a cause for concern and cast a shadow over its further execution.

Though the NHAI officials had earlier said they would only strengthen the portion of the road lying in Haryana, given its high cost of acquisition, the officials said even the cost of acquisition in Himachal was exorbitant and the project had hit a major roadblock.

Compensation had been given at the rate of Rs 9 crore per hectare in Himachal while it was as high as Rs 12 crore in Haryana on the 35-km stretch. Though this issue had been discussed with the officials of the state government and the NHAI at a meeting in Shimla, it could not be resolved amicably.

The land award was worked out on the basis of circle rates notified by the District Collector or the average of the sale deeds of three years by considering whichever was higher. Initially, the land award was worked out in 2016 after a notification under section A of the National Highways, Act, 1956, was issued and the width of the road varied from 28 m to 45 m. Later, a decision to enhance this width to 45 m along the entire stretch was taken in 2017 which led a considerable hike in the compensation.

Sanjay Khurana, senior vice-president, Baddi Barotiwala Nalagarh Industries Association, who was pursuing the case with the NHAI, said uncertainty loomed over this much-awaited project as the NHAI had objected to the high rate of acquisition and it was now for the state government to take up the issue with the NHAI for an early solution.

The four-laning of this NH was a dire necessity given the high volume of traffic on the stretch.

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