Projects lag as MHA drags heels on giving nods

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With the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) taking its time in lifting the ban on land acquisition for projects in the city, all the UT Administration officials can do is wait as important projects continue to await approval from the ministry including essential public services. Over two weeks back, the UT Administration, in a communication to MHA, had written that land has to be acquired for laying a storm water drainage run-off for the 169 one-room tenements in Mauli Jagran. But the UT Administration is yet to get any reply from the MHA.

Now the officials are apprehending that in case the approval doesn't come anytime soon, the handing over of the flats under the slum rehabilitation scheme will once again be dealyed. UT Administrator Shivraj V Patil has set a March 31 deadline for this completion of the project.

This is just one of the seven matters for which the UT Administration has to acquire land in the city measuring anything between one kanal to six acres and has already written to the Ministry for according an approval.

When contacted, a senior official of UT Administration said, "We have conveyed the urgency of the matters to the concerned officials in the MHA twice. We are hoping that they will accord their approval in the next three or four days since all these matters are public oriented."

The communication sent by the UT administration states that either permission to acquire land for these important projects be given or the MHA should consider lifting or relaxing the ban on land acquisition thus enabling the UT Administration to go ahead with the important projects which are in the interest of the general public. Significantly, the MHA had directed the UT Administration to put on hold any land acquisition since 2009 when the land acquisition for IT park phase III was first challenged. During the progress of the case in the High Court and subsequently the apex court, any land acquisition by the UT Administration was banned.

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