NHAI misleading PMO; alleged bureaucrat

DAINIK NATION BUREAU

A bureaucrat  who along with the chief secretary S Ramaswami interacted with the Prime Minister Narendra Modi through video conferencing regarding the progress of  PRGATI (pro- active governance and timely implementation) alleged that  National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) kept misinforming the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) over the possession of land meant for constructing  a 36 km stretch of the national highway  between Nagina to Kashipur. ironically, the state government and the NHAI have been sparring  for some time over the ‘possession’ of the land with the latter saying that the former is not handing over the ‘possession’, a charge that the state government is vehemently denying.

It is learnt that the CS in course of the video conferencing with the PM made it clear that they have already completed the possession transfer  process and it is now for the NHAI to start the construction.           CS further informed the PM that the proposed NH stretch passing through 31 villages, the state government has already given compensation to the tune of  Rs 364 crore to the land losers with   Rs 114 crore remaining  to be disbursed by September 20. He further told the PM that if NHAI wants  physical possession of the land they are ready to cooperate.

However, an officer privy to the meeting said while insisting on anonymity   that the term ‘physical possession’ has no meaning whatsoever.  “We already transferred the land to NHAI following which  they put up pillars to  demarcate the land that runs across  the road. It seems that they have been misreporting things to the PMO to  cloak  their  laidback attitude. Once they have installed pillars what more can we do? If anyone lodges a complaint after NHAI starts the work  they might raise the complaint of the state government not giving them possession of the land,” he said while talking to this correspondent. He further said that they have, however, refrained from pitching in during the video conferencing. “However, it becomes clear to us that NHAI is misrepresenting facts to keep their apathetic approach towards the NH construction  work away from the PMO,” the officer said.

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