Land woes hold up parts of East-West Corridor in UP

More than a decade after work was started on the 3,300-km East-West Corridor by the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government, the UP section of the project is still languishing because of land acquisition-related issues.

As many as 653 km of the project passes through UP. Of the 21 stretches in state, only 17 have been completed so far, the UP regional office of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has informed in reply to an RTI application.

The incomplete parts include a 1 km portion of the Lucknow-Kanpur stretch, a 1 km portion of the Orai-Jhansi stretch, a 3.82 km portion of the Jajmau Ganga bridge to Ramadevi crossing in Kanpur, and 1.7 km portion of the Bara to Orai stretch.

In its reply, NHAI has anticipated completion of the Jajmau Ganga bridge to Ramadevi crossing stretch in March 2013 while the other three stretches are expected to be completed in December.

Official said that the project got delayed because of land acquisition-related problems. In the Bara to Orai stretch, land for a 1.7-km portion in Kalpi town had not been handed over to NHAI yet. The work on the site was started in October 2006 and it was scheduled to finish in April 2009. While most parts of the 62.8-km stretch was completed on time, this portion remained a problem because of a dispute between the district administration and local residents over the land earmarked for the highway.

"The land required for that 1.7-km portion is owned by the state government on paper. But there are a number of families that have permanent constructions there. They are demanding money to vacate the land," said an official.

Of the 51-km Orai-Jhansi stretch, work on 50 km is complete. Around 1 km highway is incomplete because of delay in obtaining clearance from the Forest Department and Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF).

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