Govt takes cognizance of ‘slow’ four-laning of NH-24
BAREILLY: Taking cognizance of Monday’s Hindustan Times report on delay in four-laning of Bareilly-Sitapur section on National Highway-24, the state government on Tuesday sought report from the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI).
The project to four-lane the existing 150-Km stretch between Bareilly and Sitapur started in 2011 but is far from completion till date.
The stretch forms an important section on the NH-24 which connects Lucknow to Delhi via Bareilly and Moradabad.
In its response, the NHAI informed the Public Work Department about the present state of the project and mentioned reasons for the delay.
Interestingly, the response points towards the ongoing drive of state government to curb illegal mining as a cause of delay.
“...due to ban on mining, interstate
transportation of minor minerals, overloading and excessive stringent application of rules governing soil extraction, the schedule has gone haywire,” reads the response by Chandan Vats Regional Officer(RO) of NHAI to special secretary PWD Raj Shekhar.
Elucidating his point, Chandan Vats said, “The process of procuring minor minerals and even soil for the project has become very cumbersome after the implementation of new guidelines by the recent government.”
The officer added that NHAI has raised this issues with concerned ministers and officials during various meeting in last seven months but nothing much has changed.
These new regulations have slowed the ongoing work on the project. “Work on six of the eight flyovers on the stretch has stopped due to non-availability of enough soil required to build ramps.
This added with fall in supply of minor minerals have reduced the progress of work by 50%,” complained Sanjay Tomar, project in charge of Bareilly Highway Project Limited(BHPL), the private firm handling construction of the road.
According to BHPL officials, the new guidelines enforced by the district administration have made it impossible for BHPL to procure soils from local farmers. “Earlier, the maximum time required to buy soil was two days. Now it takes 40 days on average due to excessive paperwork and clearance. This delay makes the procurement economically less viable,” explained a BHPL manager.
Apart from the cost, the delay might push the completion date further.
Raj Shekhar has written to officials in mining and mineral department to direct their officials to take required action on the issue.