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West Bengal: To solve land acquisition hurdle, elevated road planned over Barasat stretch of NH-34

An elevated road atop a highway connecting Kolkata to north Bengal and the north east could very well solve the one common hurdle faced by almost all road expansion projects in the state over the years – land acquisition. Watch What Else Is Making News The work for four-laning of the NH-34 stretch has been […]

By: Express News Service | Kolkata |
January 30, 2017 5:55:48 am

An elevated road atop a highway connecting Kolkata to north Bengal and the north east could very well solve the one common hurdle faced by almost all road expansion projects in the state over the years – land acquisition.

Watch What Else Is Making News

The work for four-laning of the NH-34 stretch has been held up at Barasat stretch, where encroachment has converted the existing road to a narrow lane. But, as an official explained, the politics of acquiring land in the state has made it virtually impossible to go ahead with the plan to expand it.

“Instead, the government is going to erect pillars to build an elevated 4km, four-lane stretch. Instead of expanding laterally, we will expand vertically. This could be a model for the state,” added the official.

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This is the first time an elevated road will be built over a national highway in Bengal. The 4-km elevated road will be the fourth longest in the country after the 11.6-km stretch on NH-7 in Hyderabad, a 10-km stretch on Hosur Road in Bangalore and a 4.4-km stretch on NH-2 in Faridabad.

However, the cost involved could prove a hurdle. Officials added that while the widening of a two-lane road to a four lane would cost about Rs 15 crore per km, the cost of building a 1km elevated corridor is nearly 100 crore.

The cost will be borne by the Centre, which has reportedly assured the state of assistance despite the increase in cost.

“Usually, the ministry doesn’t approve an elevated road on national highways because of the upsurge in cost. But in this case, it is essential. The corridor, once built, will boost economic activities for all of the north-east,” said an official from the ministry of road transport and highways.

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In 2012, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) said it could not widen the NH-34, which connects Calcutta airport to Dalkhola in North Dinajpur, as it could not get land. The Bengal government has acquired required land in all places, except the 4km stretch, by offering more compensation under the new central land acquisition act.

In Barasat, the major portion of the land that needed to be acquired for the widening has been encroached.

The encroachers, who allegedly have political backing, have set up stalls and homes, and have refused to budge from the area.

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First published on: 30-01-2017 at 05:55:48 am
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