The much-awaited Rs 2,000-crore four-laning project on the Jalandhar-Barnala highway has moved a step closer to execution, with the administration of three districts giving no-objection certificates (NOCs) to the central public works department, the executing agency, under the Forest Rights Act.
The deputy commissioners of Jalandhar, Moga and Barnala gave NOCs to the CPWD, thus paving the way for easier forest clearance from the ministry of environment and forests.
Further, the notification under sections 3 (d) and 3 (G) of Acquisition Act will be issued for three districts to acquire 350 hectare land for the four-laning project. The sections deal with information of acquisition of land and compensation to be given to the affected families whose land will be taken in possession by the government.
Sources said the higher authorities have already been informed about NOCs and a meeting will be held next week for giving principal approval to the project. The forest department would plant more than10 times the number of uprooted trees and the executing agency in the state is the public works department (building and roads), which is paying for the land, besides the cost of felled trees.
Sources said discussion will be held over 22,700 trees to be felled and the compensation amount, which will be awarded to the forest department. One of the largest parts of forest area is on the last leg of the proposed road.
In January, an inspection team of the Union environment ministry had inspected the forest ranges spread over 160 hectares of land in the Sangrur, Jalandhar and Muktsar forest divisions. The team was headed by additional principal chief conservator (forest)
The 146-km road, connecting Jyoti Chowk in Jalandhar to Barnala, will pass through Nakodar, Shahkot, Dharamkot and Badhni Kalan, and is part of the National Highway-71, which runs 307 km from Jalandhar to Rewari district in Haryana.This is one of the most ambitious projects aimed at boosting inter-state road connectivity between Punjab, Haryana and other parts of the northern region. The project report includes four big bypass roads, nine small bypasses, six flyovers, 16 pedestrian underpasses, seven vehicular underpasses at railway crossings and three railways overbridges.