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National Highways: Over 1,74,000 Land Compensation Cases Pending Across States, Govt Tells LS

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The highest number of pending compensation cases at 37,327 cases is in Maharashtra, followed by 23,501 cases in Karnataka.

Representational use only.Image Courtesy: Flickr

New Delhi:  There are a total of 1,74,387 pending disputed cases related to compensation for land acquired for development of National Highways across the states, Nitin Gadkari, the Minister of State of Road Transport and Highways, informed the Lok Sabha in a written reply to a question by Kishan Kapoor on Thursday.

The highest number of pending compensation cases at 37,327 cases is in Maharashtra, the home state of Union minister Gadkari, followed by 23,501 pending cases in Karnataka and 22,877 in Punjab and Haryana (combined). Kerala (12,951), Tamil Nadu (16,157) and Uttar Pradesh (11,219) also have high pending compensation cases, according to the Ministry.

When asked about the procedure for resolving such disputes, the Minister said: “As per provision of Section 3G (5) of National Highways Act, 1956, if the determination of compensation is not acceptable to either of the parties, such dispute is settled by the Arbitrator appointed by the Central Government. In such cases, as per Section 3G (6) of National Highways Act, 1956, provisions of Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 is applicable to every arbitration, subject to provisions of National Highways Act, 1956.”

Gadkari added that constitutional remedies as per Article 136 and Article 226 of the Constitution of India are also available.

NHAI Awarded 673 Projects in 5 Years

In a written reply to another question by Rajeshbahi Chudasma on whether the pace of construction had increased for NH projects, Gadkari replied in the affirmative and informed the house that 840 projects had been completed  till November 2022.

“During the last five years 673 projects have been awarded through NHAI (National Highways Authority of India) and another 1,871 projects have been sanctioned / approved for award through other implementing agencies. Out of these projects, 840 projects have been completed up to November 2022,” he said.

719 NH Projects Facing Delays: Gadkari

As many as 719 national highway (NH) projects are facing delays and 438 projects of these are likely to be completed in the ongoing fiscal, Parliament was informed on Wednesday.

As many as 268 projects are facing delays of less than a year, Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari informed the Rajya Sabha.

In a written reply to the Rajya Sabha, Gadkari said, "The government constantly monitors sanctioned projects and as part of this exercise, 719 delayed National Highway projects have been identified across various states."

These projects are not stalled but have gone beyond the scheduled date of completion due to reasons like above average monsoon rainfall in some states, COVID-19 pandemic, bottlenecks in land acquisition and financial crunch of the concessionaire.

The government, he said, is closely tracking the construction progress of these projects and 438 projects may be completed in the current fiscal.

"In order to avoid project delays due to unavailability of land, the government is ensuring that projects get awarded after notifying 80 per cent of the required land under section 3(D) of the National
Highways Act 1956," Gadkari said.

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