‘Objections still exist over land acquisition for Umsning Bypass’

By Our Reporter

 SHILLONG: The District administration of Ri Bhoi has been make notable progress in acquiring land for construction of the Umsning Bypass, an integral part of the Umiam- Jorabat four-lane road project.

The State Government was compelled to construct the road from the Umsning Bypass due to stiff opposition from Ri Bhoi NGOs who were against the Government’s initial plan to construct the four-lane road through the existing Umsning road.

Ri Bhoi Deputy Commissioner Akashdeep, while talking to The Shillong Times on Sunday, informed that there were some initial objections from land owners after which the District administration issued notices to the land owners under Section 9 of the Land Acquisition Act.

It is noteworthy that, under Section 9 of the Act, the Deputy Commissioner is obliged to put up public notices at convenient places on or near the land to be acquired, stating that the Government intends to take possession of the land, and that claims to compensations for all interests in such land may be made to the DC.

Akashdeep also informed that at present, some minor survey is being done in certain plots by the implementing company (NHAI) to clarify on the objections and compensation for the land would be immediately handed out as soon as the survey report is submitted to his office.

The NHAI is currently waiting for the State Government to hand over land for construction of the Umsning Bypass for timely completion of the project. NHAI has been given a January 2014 deadline to complete the project.

However, the all-important road project is already running behind schedule, being dogged by a series of controversies immediately after the project was initiated.

Adding to the problem is a pending court case filed by residents of Umsning against the Government’s reversal of its earlier decision to construct the four-lane road through the existing Umsning road.

The ongoing monsoon has also affected the progress of the work since most of the labourers have left the State.

“The work will pick up only after the monsoon season is over,” the Ri Bhoi Deputy Commissioner said.

Construction work of the 61.8-km-long four-lane road sanctioned at an estimated budget of Rs 536 crore started at a brisk pace but as the time progressed, the project was hit hard as Ri Bhoi NGOs and the State Government landed in a scuffle over the alignment of the road.

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