Andhra Pradesh

Land acquisition issues delaying major road projects in State

R&B Minister M. Sankaranarayana and Principal Secretary M.T. Krishna Babu addressing the media in Visakhapatnam on Wednesday.  

The Roads and Buildings Department has decided to focus on land acquisition as several projects are dogged by delay in non-completion of the relevant formalities.

Talking to The Hindu after a review meeting with the department officials here on Wednesday, M.T. Krishna Babu, Principal Secretary to the Government (R&B Department), said that the Union Government had sanctioned road projects worth ₹21,000 crore under various schemes, and work on projects worth ₹9,500 crore was held up due to non-completion of the land acquisition process in various stretches.

After Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy’s discussion with Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari, additional funds of ₹12,500 crore had been sanctioned to the State, Mr. Krishna Babu said. “But again, land acquisition is the bottleneck,” he added.

A number of major projects in Visakhapatnam district too are affected. Among them is the 52-km Anandapuram - Anakapalle six-lane road. This vital road work is delayed due to the land acquisition issues in a stretch of about 3-km.

“The 12-km Sheelanagar - Sabbavaram Road has also been delayed due to the same reason,” Mr. Krishna Babu said.

Similarly, work on the 200-km Vizianagaram - Rajamahendravaram Road, which passes through the Visakhapatnam Agency, is also delayed.

“There are six packages in the project. We have gone for tenders in respect of only one as the remaining are awaiting land acquisition clearances,” he said, and added that the Visakhapatnam - Raipur Expressway was also affected.

VPT - Bhogapuram connectivity

Mr. Krishna Babu said that the State government had given its nod for the project connecting the Visakhapatnam port to the upcoming Bhogapuram International Airport.

“The DPR has been prepared and sent for approval. The project may cost anywhere between ₹1,500 crore and ₹1,700 crore. The project includes a 2.6-km bridge across the Gosthani. This project has both industrial and tourism interests,” he said.

Earlier, R&B Minister M. Sankaranarayana said that a budget of ₹1,003 crore had been allocated for maintenance of the State highways and major district roads for the year 2020-21.

The government had also released ₹450 crore towards clearing the bills of contractors kept pending by the TDP government, the Minister said.

Mr. Sankaranarayana further said that ₹552 crore was sanctioned for completing urgent road repair works in the next 45 days. “The government has also sanctioned ₹200 crore for taking up repairs of roads damaged due to cyclones,” he said.

“The government will complete all the ongoing works, including ROBs, at a cost of ₹500 crore with the help of NABARD Infrastructure Development Assistance (NIDA),” the Minister said.

Two new projects

Mr. Sankaranarayana said that the R&B Department would be taking up two new projects – AP Mandal Connectivity and Rural Connectivity Improvement Project and AP Roads and Bridges Reconstruction Project – at a cost of ₹6,400 crore with the financial assistance from the New Development Bank.

Under these project, about 3,100-km of roads would be widened and about 479 bridges would either be constructed or repaired, he said.

“The phase one of the work will be launched in February at a cost of ₹2,978 crore, covering over 1,243-km of roads,” he added.

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Printable version | Feb 28, 2021 9:11:01 PM |

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