Govt works on last NH31D land knot

October 31, 2013


Jalpaiguri, Oct. 29: Gautam Deb, the north Bengal development minister, today held a meeting with the NHAI, panchayat representatives and the NH31D project officials to loosen the last land knot holding back the four-laning of the highway for two years.

After the meeting today, the first sign of government action on the ground to push the crucial but delayed project, the NHAI said it would float a tender after Diwali to start four-laning work for the two-lane highway.

The NH31D is part of the East-West Corridor from Porbandar in Gujarat to Silchar in Assam.

The four-laning would be done from Ghoshpukur in Siliguri to Salsalabari in Cooch Behar, a 155km stretch. According to officials, the widening of NH31D would require about 570 hectares.

The NH31D and NH34 are the lifelines of north Bengal, whose railway network is not comparable to south Bengal’s. The north Bengal stretch of NH31D is the only part of the East-West Corridor where four-laning is yet to begin.

Government sources today said a 9km bypass road was the only stretch for which land remained to be acquired. After the state government agreed to acquire land within one year for four-laning the highway, the state has helped NHAI to acquire land in Jalpaiguri and Mainaguri.

The two gram panchayat pradhans who attended the meeting have been told to speak to villagers in their areas — Baroghoira and Magurmari II in Jalpaiguri’s Dhupguri — where land is required to lay the bypass to the NH31D skirting Dhupguri town.

The widening of the highway has been stalled since 2011. The bypass from Jhumur Bridge, 1.5km from Dhupguri town, to Dhupguri College where the bypass will again meet the NH31D, has hit a wall because villagers have refused to give land.

A group of villagers has formed the Krishi Jami Bastu Uchhed Raksha Committee (Dhupguri Bypass). Abu Taher, its secretary, said nearly 1,000 landowners would be affected as about 600 acres would have to be acquired.

“There are houses, schools, temples, mosques and shops and also multi-crop farm land….We are also not happy for being left out of today’s meeting,” Taher said.

He said the committee had forwarded a proposal to the district administration to utilise an embankment of the Jaldhaka river that is used as a zilla parishad road. “The embankment begins a kilometre from Dhupguri Chowpathy and then meets a zilla parishad road just before Dhupguri College. The NHAI should utilise that route,” Taher said.

The NHAI, however, has refused to change the highway plan anymore.

“It is not possible for us to change the detailed project report. We have decided to float a tender for the entire stretch after Diwali,” said NHAI’s Siliguri project director R.K. Chowdhury after the meeting.

Minister Deb said the pradhans had been asked to speak to the landowners.

“We have already solved similar problems in Siliguri, Chopra, Mainaguri and Cooch Behar,” he said.

One comment on “Govt works on last NH31D land knot” Post your comment

  1. Ratan Kumar Roy on December 19th, 2019 4:14 pm

    How many given total compensation of land value in 60 Dcm land.

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