Possibility of a big scam in compensation for land on all weather road

DAINIK NATION BUREAU

The Uttarakhand Pradesh Congress Committee vice President Jot Singh Bisht has alleged major irregularities in execution of the all-weather road project. The possibility of a big scam in compensation for land being acquired for the project, he said.

Bisht stated that under the project, minimum 12 metre wide double-lane roads are being built in the mountainous regions which come under the highly sensitive seismic zones IV and V. “Presently, the roads in such seismically sensitive areas are single-lane and in landslide prone areas, the road is about five metres wide. At least seven metre cutting is required to widen the roads to 12 metres in such sensitive areas. For the farmland, residential and commercial buildings being acquired for the road cutting, officials are not providing complete information to the affected persons. In the documentation, they are not filling the ‘cheque number’ and ‘amount’ columns and pressurising the affected to sign affidavits being verified by notaries without the compensation being paid. This points to the possibility of a major scam in the project,” he alleged.

The PCC vice president further averred that as none of the locals are opposing the double-laning work on the road considering national security in view of China’s increase activity in the border areas, officials of various departments concerned are depriving the affected locals of their rights.

Further, instead of using latest technology for roadworks in the seismically sensitive mountainous regions, the traditional techniques are being used for road cutting due to which the locals and visitors will have to face various problems on the Char Dham circuit in the coming years.

He also questioned the practicality of compensatory tree plantation being planned in other states to compensate for the trees being axed to facilitate execution of the all-weather road project. The debris being generated in the project are not being dumped by the contractors at the designated sites.

The contractors are dumping the debris improperly according to their convenience due to which farms are being buried in places by debris but the farmers are not receiving any compensation. In the coming monsoon, these debris will end up further damaging the farms but no attention is being paid to this. The number of trees of various species being axed for the project and improper debris dumping poses a serious threat to the unique biodiversity of the region.

The improper dumping of debris has either destroyed or is damaging various natural sources of water. Bisht said, “Both the State and Central Governments appear to be unaware of the various problems in the construction of all-weather roads.

The local authorities are ignoring such important issues in order to meet their targets under pressure from the State and Central governments. The repercussions of such anomalies will have to be suffered by the state and locals for the coming three to four decades,’ he stressed.

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