You are here: Home » Economy & Policy » News
Business Standard

High land acquisition cost major hurdle in road construction: Gadkari

Gadkari said some state governments are now coming forward to assure the ministry of easing land acquisition process and bearing its cost, which is helping in early implementation of projects

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Nitin Gadkari
Photo: Sanjay K Sharma

is a major problem in road construction projects and state governments should come out with solutions and help find a way out, Union minister said in the on Monday.

Replying to queries during Question Hour, he said the main problem in delay of projects was as the cost was very high in some states, but claimed his ministry had saved NPAs worth 3 trillion during the past five years through early implementation.

Gadkari said some state governments are now coming forward to assure the ministry of easing process and bearing its cost, which is helping in early implementation of projects.

"The main problem relates to land acquisition. Land acquisition cost is very high and problematic. In the last regime, we have awarded projects worth Rs 11 trillion.

"Land acquisition is so much that it is very difficult for the government to bear the cost. This is the time for the state government that we should find a solution," he told the Upper House.

Gadkari cited the example of Uttar Pradesh, where the state government has taken responsibility for giving 50 per cent cost for the ring road.

He said many states are coming forward, but this is a very serious problem in Kerala, because the cost of land is so high that it is beyond imagination.

"We want to find a solution, but state government has to bear the cost and find a way out," he said, adding projects are not delayed because of land acquisition any longer now.

"There were 403 projects pending when Narendra Modi came to power involving a cost of 3,85,000 crore. It is a great achievement of Indian government that we saved bankers of Rs 3 trillion of NPAs and now 90 per cent of projects are moving fast," he said.

The minister said his ministry was not moving forward with the project without 80 per cent of land acquisition and this principle is being followed very strictly.

He said the ministry is also using best technology and information from satellites.

The maximum problem relating to construction is due to DPR and "we are using satellite, drones and new types of technology for construction," he informed members.

The minister said Bharatmala-2 project involves laying of 65000 kms, of which work on 8,000 kms has already been awarded.

"The total cost is going upto 10 trillion. We are raising money from capital market and the Finance Ministry has not given us a single rupee for Bharatmala project," he said.

In reply to another question, Gadkari informed that the Mumbai-Goa Expressway Project (NH-66) will be completed within the next one year.

Gadkari said there are problems in road construction, sometimes it is due to banks and sometimes environment clearance.

He said every year there are 5 lakh accidents. 1.5 lakh people die every year in road accidents. "We are highest in the world."

There is a need to widen roads as traffic is increasing by 10-12 per cent every year, he said, adding efforts are being made to transplant trees that are uprooted.

"There are some problems. But the government has continuously taken steps to resolve issues project-wise," he added.

"We start project only when 80 per cent of land is acquired. Land acquisition is a state subject. The district collector of a State acquires land. We are ready to pay money," the minister said.

Gadkari said there are number of projects in Bihar that are stuck because 80 per cent land has not been acquired.

Contractors exit projects because of slow land acquisition process and they claim crores in compensation from the Centre, he said, adding there is a need to come out from "this vicious circle".

Gadkari said land acquisition process is very slow in West Bengal and Bihar.

"Some say don't cut tress, others say widen roads, how can the country run like this," he said, adding there is need to maintain a balance between environment and development.

In a written reply, the minister said the Government of India approved implementation of Bharatmala Pariyojna Phase-I in October, 2017 with an estimated outlay of Rs. 5,35,000 Crore for development of 34,800 kms length of National (including 10,000 km residual NHDP road works) in the entire country.

Under this programme, 13 with total length of about 506 kms and total cost Rs 12,785 crores have been approved till March, 2019 for Andhra Pradesh.

Out of these projects, 12 nos. of with aggregate length of about 479 kms and total cost Rs. 12,187 crores have been awarded till March, 2019. Further, ring road at Vijaywada/Amravati in Andhra Pradesh have also been identified for development.

Under the project, he said there is a provision for taking up such on the request of States where state governments share at least 50 per cent of land acquisition cost.

First Published: Mon, June 24 2019. 15:50 IST
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU