Six-laning work: NHAI waiting for State govt. to hand over land

Work on six-laning the 40.8-km-long Azhiyur-Vengalam section of National Highway 66 in Kozhikode district will begin when the State government hands over land acquired for the ₹1,838-crore project.

Adani Enterprises Limited (AEL) had won the multi-crore highway project from the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) on January 12. The project granted under the Hybrid Annuity Model (HAM) is part of the Bharatmala Pariyojana of the Centre. The contract for the purpose will be signed within a month.

NHAI project director Nirmal Manohar Zade said the government had mostly acquired the required land for widening the highway. The Centre had deposited the compensation package of ₹663 crore under the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act to property owners whose land had been acquired for the project.

The work would commence once the State government handed over the acquired land, said Mr. Zade. As per the agreement, the project was expected to be completed within two years, he added.

A Special Deputy Collector (Land Acquisition) had worked out the compensation package after fixing the price of land and buildings. The process of remitting the compensation to the owners of land, especially in Vadakara and Koyilandy taluks, is being done. Notices have already served on landowners. The process of acquisition in some sections was still progressing, said sources.

Meanwhile, work on the 2.10-km stretch between Moorad bridge and Palolipalam had begun as it was a standalone project, said Mr. Zade. In October, Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari had laid the foundation stone for the Kozhikode-Palolipalam-Moorad Bridge six-lane road project at the cost of ₹210.21 crore.

However, the proposed Kozhikode Bypass widening project is still hanging fire. The six-laning of the 28.4-km stretch from Vengalam to Idimuzhikkal is expected to solve traffic problems on the national highway. The total cost has been estimated to be ₹1,853.42 crore. The cost escalated from ₹1,710 crore when the project was awarded to a Hyderabad-based company in April 2018. Incidentally, the cost of the project was pegged at ₹1,450 crore when it was conceived in 2016.

The company, Krishna Mohan Construction Private Limited, which secured the contract had failed to secure a bank guarantee of ₹85.50 crore. Had the construction work started as per schedule, the project would have been completed in May last year.

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Printable version | Mar 8, 2021 6:09:14 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/six-laning-work-nhai-waiting-for-state-govt-to-hand-over-land/article33638801.ece

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