• Land issues delaying construction: NHAI

    The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has said that service road construction between Bhagawan Mahaveer (Pumpwell) Circle and Talapady on the four-lane NH 66 is being delayed for want of physical possession of required land to be handed over by the State government.

    Samson Vijay Kumar, NHAI Project Director, Mangaluru, Zone, told The Hindu that the authority and the concessionaire—Navayuga Udupi Tollway Pvt., Ltd., are ready to construct the service roads, but for technical reasons. The Special Land Acquisition Officer (SLAO) is unable to disburse compensation to a tune of about Rs. 32 crore to land owners because of their non-availability.

    Mr. Kumar was responding to a news article “Police will not hesitate to book NHAI if flaws in road building lead to accidents,” appearing in these columns on Monday.

    On specific queries by The Hindu about incomplete service roads all along four-lane NH 66 between Pumpwell and Talapady, he said though technically the lands (about 16 hectares) vested with NHAI, it cannot go ahead for want of physical possession. The district administration too had conducted special adalats to settle such cases recently and a few were settled.

    In Udupi district too, possession of about 5 hectares of land is yet to be given to NHAI as about Rs. 21 crore of compensation to land owners is yet to be disbursed. Mr. Kumar said the NHAI has already deposited the entire compensation amount with SLAOs concerned.

    With regard to absence of median opening at Yekkur Junction on NH 66, Mr. Kumar said initially there was a proposal to provide one. It was deleted as the height of the main carriageway on the other side had to be increased to match the height of the new Road Over Bridge on the Railway line.

    The authority is willing to provide one, if the City Police suggest so, Mr. Kumar added. Mr. Kumar also said the Dakshina Kannada Deputy Commissioner has appointed a designated SLAO for NH projects in the district to relieve the Assistant Commissioner of Mangaluru revenue sub division from the additional charge. Danny Gare Womens Jersey

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