NHAI pulls out of expansion work in Kerala

State govt will have to take care of the entire expansion programme
KOZHIKODE: After six years of work to acquire land for the National Highway expansion, the NHAI has been directed to pull out of the expansion programme.
An order in this regard has been sent to the NHAI’s north zone office here. Now the state government will have to take care of the entire expansion programme and the centre will only provide the funds.
Confirming this, NHAI project director V. Uma Maheshwara Reddy told DC that the NHAI would not be part of the expansion works anymore.
“We have been directed to end our role in the programme. Now the state government will have to negotiate directly with the land owners and it can approach the central government for funds,” he said. The project had been delayed due to political intervention by the state government and other political parties.
“We work according to the central government rules and we cannot change them as per the needs of the respective state governments,” a senior NHAI official said.
In the last six years, out of about 700 hectares of land required, the NHAI could only acquire eight-and-a-half hectares. The NHAI’s north zone office will be closed to cut the expenditure.
“Now we do not have any work except for attending courts to fight the cases regarding land acquisition,” Mr. Reddy said.
( Source : dc )
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