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To avert frequent accidents, NHAI tightens noose on encroachers

Land grabbers asked to evict or face action

Avtar Bhat
JAMMU, Feb 22: Tigh-tening its noose on encroachers of National Highway in Samba and Jammu districts, the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) has served notices to the land grabbers asking them to evict within stipulated time or face action warranted under law. The NHAI has also sought the cooperation of concerned District Development Commissioners in this regard after discussing the land grabbing issue of NH with them threadbare.
The step was taken to avoid frequent accidents on National Highway and the encroachers have been asked to remove the un- authorized trespassing within seven days of the receipt of notices or face action.
The notices were served by NHAI to encroachers of Highway land in the twin districts under sub section (2) of Section 26 of the control of National Highways (Land and Traffic) Act, 2002, official sources told Excelsior.
The NHAI authorities have reiterated that those who fail to comply with the directions will be subjected to penalty and will be forced to evict from highway land under Sub Section 6 of Section 26 of the Control of National Highways (Land and Traffic) Act, 2002, sources added.
Sources said that there were 163 encroachments on National Highway in Samba district alone, out of which 26 have been voluntarily removed after they were served notices by the authorities while 137 have yet to remove the same.
Likewise in the Jammu district 325 parties were served notices for making encroachments on National Highway land out of which 132 have voluntarily evicted while 193 still exist at various spots of the NH in the district.
However, the authorities of the NHAI as well as the District Development Commissioners of respective districts are optimistic that the people who have made encroachments on the Highway land will cooperate with the authorities and would voluntarily remove them.
“We have taken the decision to avoid frequent accidents on Highway as entire 45 meter wide Highway from Lakhanpur to Kunjwani and 60 metre wide on Jammu by pass should be free for smooth plying of traffic”, said Project Director NHAI M T Attarde.
The Deputy Commissioners of Samba and Jammu, Sheetal Nanda and Simranjeet Singh respectively said that the NHAI has approached them for removal of encroachments and notices have been served to the encroachers by NHAI in this regard. However, Nanda said that in Samba district at various places people have not maintained the required distance from NH and they have been served the notices and as such there is no major encroachment in this area.
Meanwhile, after seeking approval from Railway authorities, the NHAI has started work on construction of 450 metre patch of National Highway near Cheechi Mata temple under Railway bridge. The work will approximately cost Rs 8 crore and it will be completed within six months, said Attarde.
He said that 13 metre box will be installed beneath the railway bridge on NH for passage of vehicles. The portion of the Highway will be constructed by ITD Cementation.
Besides, the entire portion of NH from Lakhanpur to Vijaypur will be blacktopped and bids have been received for the same by NHAI which will be opened soon to start the work, he added.
He said the decks have been cleared and the work on Rs 1709 crore National Highway Project from Udhampur to Chenani and Nashri to Ramban will be intensified now  and it will be completed by December 2018.
He said one more 880 meter long tunnel on this portion of Highway will be constructed at Peeda.
The work on this portion of Highway was going on at snail’s pace due to some technical reasons and court cases and only 16 percent work was completed till date.
However, NHAI has now geared up to intensify the construction of this portion of Highway.
The Chenani- Nashri Tunnel is being given finishing touches and it will be completed by ending this month to be inaugurated any time in next month, he added.
The 11 kilometer long tunnel at Chenani will reduce 30 kms distance to Kashmir valley while three kms have been reduced from Jammu to Udhampur.

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