Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Press Statement issued by the NHAI

The National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) today denied as baseless and misleading reports in a section of the media that it was reluctant on going ahead with the CBI enquiry in the matter of alleged irregularities in land acquisition matters in Nagina – Kashipur, Kashipur – Sitarganj, Sitarganj – Tanakpur and Rudrapur - Kathgodam sections in the State of Uttarakhand. 

The matter pertains to alleged change in land use under section 143 of the Zamindari Abolition Act by revenue authorities in the process of acquisition of land for NH projects. 

The NHAI never objected to any enquiry or investigation by any agency at any point of time in the matter. NHAI only conveyed its stand to various authorities in the State Government to clarify the roles and responsibilities of officials of the State Government and NHAI in land acquisition matters. 

The NHAI officials have no role to play in deciding the nature of land or the compensation amount to be paid for acquisition of land. The role of NHAI officials is limited to depositing the amount as may be decided by the competent revenue authorities or the Courts. 

NHAI requested the State authorities to intervene in the matter only because dragging NHAI officers in such incidences is going to be counterproductive. This may not only lead to adverse impact on the process of land acquisition in Uttarakhand, but also affect our targets in other States too. 

In the present situation, the NH projects in Uttarakhand have come to a complete halt. It is feared that such a situation may arise in other States also and the whole NHDP may get affected severely. 

It is clarified that land for NH projects is acquired under the provisions of the National Highways Act, 1956 (NH Act). As per the recommendation of the State Government, the revenue officials of the State are duly appointed as Competent Authorities under section 3a of the NH Act. All the subsequent activities relating to preliminary notification u/s 3A, final notification u/s 3D as well as declaration of awards are within the domain of the Competent Authority under the Act. NHAI has a huge challenge to expedite projects, and acquisition of land is a major milestone in this process. Especially the matter of defining or changing the land use vests entirely with the State revenue authorities and NHAI has no role to play whatsoever. Generally, NHAI does not question the award announced by the Competent Authorities, as the revenue officials are the custodians of the revenue records and NHAI officials have no role to play in the acquisition process. This is also a fact that questioning the awards and going for arbitration delays the project which generally goes against the interest of the project. 


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