New Delhi: Government on Monday said problems
in land acquisition was one of the main factors in delays in
the implementation of National Highway Development projects.
Answering queries on the issue during Question Hour in
the Lok Sabha, Minister of Road Transport and Highways, C P
Joshi said, "Land acquisition is one of the factors
contributing to delay in implementation of some projects under
Out of the 226 projects under implementation by NHAI,
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
Joshi said protection of wildlife during acquisition
of land should be ensured while the responsibility of forest
clearance lay with the state governments.
Supriya Sule (NCP) sought to know why environmental
clearances are not taken at the initial stage of the highways
projects despite the authorities being aware that this is a
must and causes delay.
Joshi said this issue is being looked into and assured
the House that his ministry tried to avoid any harm to
wildlife in acquisition of land for the highways. 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.
Shahnawaz Hussain (BJP) alleged that due to the
"high-handed" attitude of the Planning Commission, all chief
engineers of NHAI had resigned and held Joshi and his ministry
responsible for the problems. Joshi denied this, saying there
was no conflict between his ministry and NHAI.
Joshi maintained that Rs 5,000 Crore had been
invested in the NHAI projects recently and 4,000 km of road
He informed the House that 3,700 km of highways
would be sanctioned every year for three consecutive years.
Nama Nageshwar Rao (TDP) wanted to know why the Road
Transport and Highways Ministry was not monitoring acquisition
of land continuously. Joshi said land is a state subject and
the primary responsibility for this lay with the states.
In reply to another question, Joshi said "very
effective measures" were being taken to address concerns about
extending the roads and highways beyond Jammu in Jammu and
Kashmir. He maintained that his ministry was even looking at
possibilities of improving road connectivity with Leh and