National highway body urges Assam to speed up land acquisition

Guwahati, Oct 9 (IANS) The National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL) on Friday appealed to the Assam government to speed up land acquisition and forest clearances for timely completion of road projects in the state.

The NHIDCL has already awarded 10 such projects to leading contractors, which are likely to be completed in the next 36 months, NHIDCL Managing Director Anand Kumar said.

He was addressing ‘NER Infrastructure Conclave 2015’ organised by the PHD Chamber of Commerce here.

He said a total of 19 roads and highway projects in Assam would be completed by 2020 – involving a total investment of Rs.10,000 crore – for which land acquisition and forest clearances were being facilitated by the Centre and the state government.

“However, land acquisition and forest clearances are a major constraint in these projects. The delays in land acquisition and forest clearances makes the region and the people suffer,” Kumar said.

“While 10 projects have already been awarded, four roads and highway projects would be awarded by December as the process is in final stages. For the remaining five, Detailed Project Reports will be completed by late 2016 so that construction can begin by March 2017,” said Kumar.

He said land acquisition and forest clearances for the 10 awarded projects would be NHIDCL responsibility, which is being facilitated at a faster pace in consultation with Assam authorities.

PHD Chamber’s senior vice president Mahesh Gupta welcomed the NHIDCL initiative to transform the entire north-east region with world-class roads and highways.

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