54-km road from CM village to Mainpuri runs into green hurdle
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Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav's plan to link his native village Saifai in Etawah with Samajwadi Party president Mulayam Singh Yadav's parliamentary constituency Mainpuri through a four-lane road has hit a hurdle with the MoEF withholding clearance.
The road would require felling of nearly 1,500 trees, for which the state government had sought the MoEF's permission.
As of now, work on the 52-km of road, estimated to cost Rs 150 crore, remains stalled.
"We have applied for clearance from the MoEF. All the formalities are completed and we are awaiting no objection from the ministry," Parvez Alam, Executive Engineer, PWD, Etawah said.
State's Public Works Department (PWD) has planned to provide a four-lane connectivity from Saifai to Mainpuri.
Saifai itself is part of Jaswantnagar Assembly seat in Etawah, which is part of Mainpuri Lok Sabha seat.
The stretch between Saifai and Mainpuri was to be widened to 45 metres as per the standards of the Indian Road Congress.
A Mumbai-based private construction company has already been issued a tender for constructing the road. The primary widening of road, too, has begun.
The project is under direct monitoring of PWD minister Shivpal Yadav who has fixed December 2014 as the deadline for completion of the project. The MoEF had given permission for felling of trees but with a condition — that atleast 2-3 rows of trees on both sides of the road have to be planted in lieu of cutting the existing trees.
As planting of two rows of trees would have required acquiring farmer's land, which is a tough task due to opposition from the farmers, the state government has offered non-forest land for plantation at some other place which it failed to provide in both Etawah and Mainpuri.
The state government even shortened the central division between the roads from standard two metre to 1.5 metre. "We have now approached the MoEF with a request to grant us permission and we will plant two rows of trees, one on the brim of the road and another at the bottom. It should, however, not be treated as a precedent," a senior PWD official said. MoEF is yet to respond to the fresh request of the state government.