NHAI opts for acquisition route to get land for Sirhaul toll underpass
To ensure that work on the underpass at the Sirhaul toll plaza does not get stuck due to unavailability of land, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has initiated the process of acquiring 1.25-acre land required to build the road and the ramp for the underpass on the Jaipur-to-Delhi side. The land in question belongs to Hindustan Insecticides Limited(HIL), which owns a substantial chunk of land on the highway.
On Thursday, the highways authority invoked Section 3(D) of the NHAI Act, 1956, which provides for a notice from the Competent Authority on Land Acquisition (CALA), seeking objections for the next 21 days. Once all objections are settled, the land automatically is acquired by the highways authority, as per the Act. Additionally, the NHAI has also requested the HIL to hand over the required land within a week so that work can be started on this stretch.
Work on the Sirhaul underpass started on March 5 this year and the time for completion of the project, as per the contract, has been set at 18 months from the date of the start of work.
“We have made a formal request for handing over the physical possession of this land so that work on the underpass is not affected. We are targeting to complete this project in 12 months,” said Ashok Sharma, project director, Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway.
As per officials privy to the matter, it was earlier proposed that the land would be transferred at the prevalent circle rate that amounted to approximately ₹3.5 crore per acre.
However, the owner demanded a higher price. This led to the exchange of multiple proposals and negotiations between the two agencies, even at the ministerial level. Although the negotiations are still currently underway, the highways authority has decided to invoke the NHAI act in order to ensure the continuation of the construction work, the officials added. A circle rate is the minimum amount at which the sale of land can take place and registration can be done by the revenue authority.
Dhan Sonwani, manager coordination-cum-estate officer, HIL, said, “The HIL has no objection to handing over the land in public interest as it will be used for building infrastructure but it wants a fair compensation as per the government guidelines. ”
The U-turn underpass at the Sirhaul toll plaza opposite Ambience Mall will help commuters turn towards Iffco Chowk on the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway without heading to Rajokri in Delhi. The length of the U-turn underpass will be 377 metres and it would also have its own 559-metre-long and 7-metre-wide service road.
This project also includes the construction of a flyover at Shanker Chowk, which will help traffic coming from the Cyber City to cross the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway and turn towards Delhi without any hindrance.
Both these structures are being built at a cost of ₹163 crore and are a part of the overall plan to decongest the Delhi-Gurgoan Expressway, said Sharma.
The grade-separated U-turn flyover near Shankar Chowk will be 455 metres long with three lanes.
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