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Four-Laning Work Of NH34 Restarted In Krishnanagar-Berhampur Stretch

2016-11-04 23:54

Work of expansion of NH34 restarted at Dhubulia in Krishnanagar-Berhampur stretch. NfN Picture

NfN NETWORK

Krishnanagar, Oct. 4: The National highway authority of India today resumed the four laning work of a 78km languishing stretch of NH-34 between Krishnanagar and Berhamapur that was stopped two years ago due to delay in land acquisition and encroachment that eventually led to poor financial condition of the executing agency.

The resumption of work was begun from Dhubulia following puja where senior officials of NHAI were present along with the officials of the executing.

While work at the Krishnanagar-Berhampur stretch restarted, the state PWD has started survey in Barasat-Krishnanagar stretch that was also suspended to land problem. The stretch now will be constructed by the state government following an appeal by union transport minister Nitin Gadkari.

The resumption of the four laning work in Krishnanagar-Berhampur strerch has been made possible due to a revival policy of the Government of India that decided to restart only three languishing projects of expansion of NH across the country out of 14 projects which shortlisted initially.

The 78km stretch between Krishnanagar and Berhampur is the first one in the country which restarted today even though the neither the NHAI nor the Hyderabad based executing agency SEW Infrastructure Limited are confident enough for smooth execution of this revived project as despite 100% acquisition of the required land demolition and clearing works of shops and establishments in at least five towns on the stretch has yet to begin.

NHAI project director Ajit Kumar Singh said: “We are hopeful that execution will be unhindered now. There has been a major change in the perspective of the state government, which has come up for help to remove encroachment. The district administration has also assured us of all sorts of help so that the work could be carried out without any hindrance”.

Sharad Mathur, Senior general manager of SEW said: “People at many areas have assured now of cooperation as they realized that delay in execution would also keep the area under developed”.

The 750-crore project of four laning of Krishnanagar-Berhampur stretch was started on January 10, 2012 with stipulated completion period of 30months. But, work was stopped during 2014 after completion of about 39.70km due to delay in land acquisition and other problems. The executing agency incurred losses due to delay as the funding banks also retracted. The four laning works of four other stretches of NH-34 in the state also delayed due to land acquisition problem across the country.

In last year the cabinet committee on economic affairs approved a one time fund infusion in a bid to revive such languishing NH projects in the country on case by case basis.

Eventually, the cabinet had given nod for revival of only three projects of NH, which include the Krishnanagar-Berhampur stretch. To qualify for the above scheme, a project was required to have achieved at least 50% physical progress. The Krishnanagar-Berhampur project was 51.20% completed.

NHAI project director Ajit Kumar Singh said: “The Government of India has formulated a policy to revive the projects by providing bridge loan and by restoring missed annuities for delay for which the executing agency was not responsible. For the work the Government has infused loan of Rupees 404 crore in addition to earlier loan provided by the bank.Such infusion of moderate funding can quickly bring these projects to completion. This assistance will be provided by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) from its overall budget corpus on loan basis for a short tenure at Bank Rate +2%. After completion of construction of such projects on Built-Operate-Transfer (BOT) (Toll) mode, the first charge on the toll receivables shall be ensured for NHAI”

“Since the project qualified for under the one time fund infusion scheme and restoration of missed annuities, NHAI has approved restoration of missed annuities for 715days (3.92 missed annuities) which shall be payable after achieving completion in accordance with the concession agreement. This will be equal to Rupees 239.90 crore”, Sing added
It is now the NHAI which should ensure clear stretch for execution by removing the hurdles that could affect construction

The crowded market areas in like Dhubulia, Plassey, Bethuadahari, Beldanga, Bhabta have now become a cause of major concern to both NHAI and SEW as despite 100% acquisition of land the shops and establishments could not so far been removed.

“Moreover, there are major public utility services like electric supply lines, water supply line along the stretches in these towns which the state government agencies to shift. These works yet to be started”, an official of NHAI said.

NH project director A.K.Singh said: “This is a problem, still we are hopeful. Now we are starting the work at the available clear stretches. We have talked to the Nadia and Murshidabad district administration which have assured to help us to get clear stretch. Both the administration assured us to get a clear land by starting clearing encroachers and utility services by the end of the festive season in November”.

DM Nadia sumit Gupta said: “The district administration will extend all possible cooperation so that work is done smoothly. We have already started process of removing the utility services and there will be no hindrance at all”.

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