Changes to Land Acquisition Act before Parliament Session, hints Nitin Gadkari

PTI Posted online: Wednesday, Jun 18, 2014 at 0000 hrs
New Delhi : With Rs 60,000 crore worth of projects stuck due to delays in land acquisition, Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari today hinted at amending the Land Acquisition Act after consulting the states.

"We discussed (Land Acquisition Act) with the states and after I have considered their suggestions I will take that to the Prime Minister, we will go by his decision," Gadkari, who is also in-charge of rural development, said in an interview to CNBC TV18.

"Within 20 days... before the Parliament session we will come to conclusion because this is the issue which is related with the future development of this country," Gadkari said when asked about the timeline of bringing the amendments.

He said the problem in the road network is that road projects worth Rs 60,000 crore are stuck, there are disputes in the Supreme Court, High Court, lot of problems are there.

"Within one month my target is to find out equilibrium, we don't want to destroy contractors and construction of roads should happen as early as possible," Gadkari said.

He added that his ministry has already solved problems for the projects worth Rs 20,000 crore already.

Progress on many highway projects is laggard due to delay in land acquisition.

Road Ministry has set a target of awarding 7,000 km worth of road projects during the financial year (2014-15), under the BOT (build, own, operate) and EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) models.

The ministry which had set a target of awarding 9,000 km of projects in 2013-14 could award less than 2,000 km projects by the end of the period.