UP govt’s spanner in highway works
New Delhi: Arecent demand from the Uttar Pradesh government seeking compensation for transfer of state government land by NHAI has stumped the highway building agency. On Monday, its chairman N N Sinha flagged it at a public meeting, which was attended by Union highways minister Nitin Gadkari and UP deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya.
Sinha said this was one of the issues that was coming in the way of faster rollout of highway projects in the state. Responding promptly, Maurya said they will address the issue soon to ensure the state gets highest priority from the Centre.
Sinha said about 1,800 of highway development works were under way in UP. But there were concerns such as poor quality data with regard to details of residential plots. He said while NHAI gets government land free, the UP government had sought compensation.
“There is also an issue with regard to signing of State Support Agreement (SSA), which is key to faster building of highways. We request the state government to fasttrack signing of the agreement. We are keen to undertake more projects in UP,” he said.
Sinha also flagged how NHAI is still waiting for land for about 2 km for the greenfield portion of Delhi-Meerut Expressway. The highways authority targets to complete construction of this stretch by March.
“We are keen to see accelerated construction of national highways in the state. We will resolve all problems quickly. Things have changed since this government has come in the state. If there is anything that we need to fix, we will do it soon,” Maurya said.
Speaking at the event, Union road transport secretary Sanjeev Ranjan said the Centre was taking several steps, including expansion of highways and 100% implementation of FasTag to make the highway travel seamless.