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State seeks Rs 759 cr more for ring-road land acquisition.

The state government needs Rs 759 crore more to buy land for semi ring road projects in Srinagar and Jammu cities, prompting the chief secretary to approach the central government for same,  has learnt.

A public works department official said farmers were not willing to sell land at the prices offered by the government. After working out the additional costs, the government estimates that it needs Rs 759 crore more for the project. Since the government can’t pay this amount out of its own kitty, it has requested the central government for funding.

The work on the Rs 3833-crore project, whose foundation was laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in May this year, has slowed down because of the fund shortage.

About 12,450 kanals of land is to be acquired for the roads, out of which 10,911 kanals are agricultural land.

While the Union ministry of road transport and highways had awarded the Rs 939 crore-project for the Srinagar semi-ring road to Ramky Infrastructure, the farmers and land owners whose land is to be acquired have been demanding compensation as per “prevalent rates”.

“We have an outdated Land Acquisition Act, 1934, under which compensation offered is four times less than what our counterparts get in neighbouring Punjab and elsewhere. The government is offering us stamp rate of Rs 29 lakh per kanal plus 15 per cent solatium, though the same land is sold for over Rs 80 lakh as per prevailing market rate,” said Ali Muhammad Bhat, a farmer whose land at Budgam comes under the proposed highway.

“Government impresses upon people to focus on agriculture and horticulture and claims this sector to be backbone of our economy, but on the other hand makes its people landless by forcibly acquiring their land. If NHAI gives four times more compensation to farmers in other states, why deny it in J&K?” asks Irshad Ahmad, an aggrieved land owner.

According to the detailed project report of the ring road  accessed , the proposed Ring Road project for Srinagar will start at Galander and meet the highway at Narbal Junction in its Phase-I. The road would be four-lane with six-lane future projection.

Under the Phase-II of the project, a two-way road will start at Narbal and meet in Ganderbal.

The project is likely to cost Rs 1195 crores in Phase-I and Rs 448 crores in the Phase-II.

The road length in the Phase-I will be 34.72 kilometers and in the Phase-II 27.2 kilometers. There will be a Toll Plaza at Narbal Junction. In the proposed four-lane road project from Galander to Narbal, there will be 155 culverts, two road-over bridges, two flyovers, five major junctions, 17 minor junctions and one Toll Plaza.

The two-lane road from Narbal to Ganderbal will have 135 culverts, five major junctions and nine minor junctions.The projects should keep room for widening from four-lanes to six-lanes and from two-lanes to four-lanes to cater to future needs.

In Jammu, the four-lane road involving an expenditure of Rs 1355 crore would have one Toll Plaza in each of the homogenous sections. Starting near Vijaypur (Raipur), the projected 60-km road will join the National Highway at Akhnoor, where from it would go up to Nagrota Bye-Pass. Bids for the ring road around Jammu city have been finalised and the works will begin once the National Highway Authority of India acquires 90 per cent of the land.

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