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.