Govt not to acquire land for NH
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THOUGH Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday admitted in the Assembly that the extension project for the National Highway-34 has been hampered due to the land acquisition issues in the state, she reiterated that her government would never opt for forcible land acquisition for constructing roads.
"I cannot use bulldozers to remove people," she said in her reply to a question by Leader of the Opposition Surya Kanta Mishra about the land acquired for the expansion of the highway that connects the districts of north Bengal and south Bengal.
The Chief Minister added that her government will only hold consultations with the people on acquiring land for such infrastructure projects. "We will not do anything that will hamper the interest of the people. Our government cannot resort to firing on people just to get something done," she said in a veiled attack on the CPM over the Nandigram firing incident during the previous Left Front government.
She said the alignment of the roads could be changed where people are not willing to part away with their land. "May be that will increase the cost. So be it," she added.
Referring to issues related to land acquisition for the highway in North 24-Parganas district, the Chief Minister said of the 21 moujas in the district there is no difficulty to acquire land in 16 of them, while talks are going on in the rest. In certain areas in north Bengal too, people are opposing land acquisition, she added.
Banerjee said out of 2380.36 acres of land required, 465.46 acres have been acquired in North 24-Parganas, Nadia, Malda, Uttar Dinajpur and Murshidabad districts.
Blaming the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) of not doing much about the project, she said, repeated appeals were made to the Prime Minister and the Union Road and Surface Transport Ministry in this regard. She said that the NHAI was not doing enough, even in areas where there is no land problem.
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