Mumbai-Nagpur Expressway: Project may get delayed as only 7% land acquired so far
The MSRDC, which plans to start construction by January 2018, is likely to miss its deadline due to the slow progress of the purchase of land.mumbai Updated: Oct 06, 2017 12:50 IST
Three months after initiating the process to purchase land for the construction of the Mumbai-Nagpur Expressway, the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) has managed to purchase only 582.67 hectares or 6.83% of the total land required for the project.
The MSRDC, which plans to start construction by January 2018, is likely to miss its deadline due to the slow progress of the purchase of land. However, MSRDC officials said that they will pick up pace to sign sale deeds this festive season.
According to the data provided by the MSRDC, the 701-km expressway would require 9364.73 hectares of land in total. “We require 8531.50 hectare of private land; we are directly purchasing the land from the owners. So far, we have purchased 582.67 hectares,” said Kiran Kurundkar, joint managing director, MSRDC.
Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Eknath Shinde, minister, public works department (public undertakings), said that the MSRDC is engaging with the farmers, whose land will be purchased. “We will be in a position to award the contract in three months, so that the work to construct the Expressway begins on time and we achieve our target. The landholders who were earlier sceptical about giving their consent for the project are now voluntarily coming forward to offer their land,” said Shinde, adding that they will not take land forcibly.
The Expressway is the pet project of chief minister Devendra Fadnavis. In August, Fadnavis had directed the MSRDC to purchase 50% of the land by the first week of October. Kurundkar explained that the process to purchase land is a lengthy one. “It (purchasing land) is lengthy owing to various issues – at times there is more than one owner, on some plots there’s a family dispute – and so on. Hence, we have to tackle all the technicalities before we can call the landowner to sign the documents,” Kurundkar said. He added that they have consent from farmers for 2750.80 hectares, and they will soon acquire 833.23 hectare of government land. A senior bureaucrat added that with the festive season around, they are expecting a spike in sale deeds in a few areas.
The bidding process for the civil construction is already underway. The MSRDC has shortlisted 33 companies for the construction of the eight-lane Expressway. The construction of the access-controlled Expressway has been divided into 16 packages.
Meanwhile, the project which is estimated to cost Rs 46,000 crore could be funded by the Korean Land & Housing Corporation of South Korea.