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Centre’s high-speed corridor project hits land hurdles

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By Our Reporter

SHILLONG, June 29: The central government’s plan to construct a high-speed corridor connecting Umiam and Panchgram in southern Assam is facing land hurdles even before the survey work for the project could be completed.
The 160-km project will be constructed with a tentative cost of Rs 26,500 crore, out of which Rs 12,000 crore will be spent on road construction.
Sources in the National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited said they intend to prepare the DPR for the project this year after completing the survey work.
This may get delayed due to disputes over land acquisition in the Diengpassoh and Puriang areas of the East Khasi Hills district. The state government has taken up the matter, they said.
It was informed that the headman of Diengpassoh is against the land acquisition in the stretch from 27 to 29 kilometres. He wants the road to be realigned.
There are similar challenges in the Puriang area in a stretch of 5 km.
Officials admitted that land acquisition is a major challenge in Meghalaya since it is a Sixth Schedule area and the state government is dependent on headmen as it does not have any documents.
The proposed road will have six packages, five of which will be in Meghalaya and one in Assam.
Since it will be a high-speed corridor, the alignment of the road will have to be straight and 90% of the greenfield areas will be in Meghalaya.
The straighter alignment will enable one to avoid the existing district roads and circuitous hilly areas, officials said.

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