Jowai-Ratacherra two-lane road project hits land hurdle

SHILLONG: The upgradation work of Jowai-Ratacherra two lane road project is facing several challenges due to the inability of the State Government to hand over the land to the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI)

Sources in the NHAI informed that the work had been completed on 71 kilometers out of 102 kilometers of the road project but the NHAI was working only on its Right of Way which was made available to the implementing agency.

According to sources, though the NHAI last year had deposited Rs 162 crore for the acquiring land upto 16 hectares but till date, not even a single piece of land has been handed over to the NHAI.

It was informed that the process pertaining to the land acquisition was stuck in section 19 in both West Jaintia Hills as well as East Jaintia Hills.

In addition, NHAI is also having problems to build toll gate Number 1 at Lalong since the land owners were asking for market rate of the land.

NHAI informed that the problems pertaining to the difficulties in the implementation of the project would be flagged in the meeting of the State Level Coordination Committee to be held on Tuesday.

The expansion work of the arterial NH-44 has been approved under Phase-III of the National Highway Development Programme and the road will be a boon not only for Meghalaya but also for other neighbouring states, including Assam and Mizoram.

The Jowai-Ratacherra road has over the years posed numerous difficulties to commuters who have had to brave the dilapidated stretch. Hence, its repair will be a welcome change. The project cost is Rs 630 crore.

However, officials informed that the project will be delayed due to several difficulties cropping up in the implementation of the project though the deadline for the completion of the project is February, 2018