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Herculean task

As our country has been proceeding steadily along the path of all round development that raises the standard of living, prices of commodities have also been going up side by side. But it is the land in which the rise in the cost has been phenomenal whether in rural or in urban areas. Land is not easily available and demand is high both from the Government and from the public. This is causing big imbalance and problems are now clearly before us. Acquisition of land has become very complicated and very difficult. In the first place land owners are loath to part with their belongings and would not like to become landless since they are used to a life linked to agrarian activities. Secondly, in urban areas land is essentially needed either for raising new townships and residential colonies or for widening the old roads which means razing to ground such structures as stand along the roadside that is to be widened. This is the general phenomenon in our country and the State.
Twenty-years ago, in 1996 a plan called Sayyid Mirak Shah Road Project (SMSRP) was formally inaugurated by the then Minister for R&B. The 10.33 kilometers road project consisted of areas including Dalgate, Nowpora, Khayam, Khanyar Victory Crossing, Rainawari, Zindshah Masjid, Kathi Darwaza, Saida Kadal, Ashai Bagh, Nigeen Club, Hazratbal, Habak and Gulab Bagh, to be completed with a cost of 93 crore rupees. According to data available, hardly one third of this project has been taken in hand during past twenty years and that too with gaps in between. According to official figures, the R&B Department has had to acquire 336 structures, 750 shops, 145 kanals and 500 plots. However, so far, the cases involving 177 structures, 302 shops, 29 kanals and 110 plots have only been settled. The acquisition cost is estimated at Rs 336 crore which, however, in year 1996 was only Rs 93 crore but due to delay in acquisition the burden on State exchequer has increased manifold. The biggest obstruction in the way of the project is that of land acquisition which, according to authorities is a Herculean task. The cost estimates have risen from 93 crore to 336 crores. The authorities point out two reasons for long delay; land acquisition complicacies and shortage of funds. How will these two problems be solved is the question. If present conditions prevail it may not be possible to bring this project to completion and that will be a great loss to the State.

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