New bridges in limbo as land acquisition dispute drags on

Mamata Banerjee government is now in a spot as it is is finding it difficult to get land for the construction of approach roads connecting a number of river bridges.

Written by RAJIB CHATTERJEE | Kolkata | Published: February 23, 2012 3:08:32 am

After coming to power by successfully cashing in on the strong anti-land acquisition wave,the Mamata Banerjee government is now in a spot as it is is finding it difficult to get land for the construction of approach roads connecting a number of river bridges.

Even as the state government grapples with issues of land acquisition,it has instructed public works department not to issue fresh work order to any agency for the construction of new bridges unless the dispute over the acquisition of land for the construction of bridge-approach roads is settled.

The government order came after the state government found that numerous bridges,constructed earlier,could not be made operational due to the non-availability of land for construction of bridge-approach roads. As a result,expenditure incurred for the construction of bridges has turned out to be wasteful and no one knows when these bridges will be thrown open to the public,a public works department (PWD) official said.

“The fate of number of river bridge projects is uncertain because of non-availability of land for construction of the bridge approach roads,” the official told The Indian Express.

“Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was astounded when she was briefed about the issue during a meeting. She promptly asked the PWD officials to issue an order to stop the issuance of work order to the construction agency without solving the land acquisition related disputes. The order was later issued,” the PWD official said. Construction work of two bridges in South 24-Parganas was stopped as land required for the approach roads were not acquired,he added.

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