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Published:Friday, August 16, 2019 2:29 PM

Land Acquisition And Clearance Requirement For Roads Project

Land Acquisition And Clearance Requirement For Roads Project

Clearance requirement is most important part before starting road construction, main challenge is providing 80-90% encumbrance/Contractor free land to the Concessionaire on the appointed date of the projects. In addition, environment clearance is also a condition precedent for declaring the appointed date for initialing the works.
Clearance for NHDP which is one of the biggest scheme of road development in the country was a challenge, after completion of many phases all the projects of NHDP which are completed now taken for widening where either 2-lane is upgraded to 2-lane with paved shoulders or 4-lane or 4-lane is upgraded to 6-lane. Generally, the widening is done along the existing alignment except for the settlement area or the locations where geometric improvement is required. All precautions are taken to minimize the loss of trees by choosing the best possible widening options (left or right or concentric).
The decision of upgrading the highways is based on the traffic volume on the existing highways. Whenever the traffic volume exceeds specific threshold limit the section becomes eligible for up-gradation either to 2-lane with paved shoulder, 4-lane or 6-lane. 
The density of the traffic volume on the existing alignment (without up-gradation) certainly has adverse impact on air and noise pollution specifically in urban locations and congested areas. The widening up-gradation of these sections help in reducing the air/noise pollution levels in the congested locations. Another positive impact is on the drainage pattern as large number of additional culverts are added to maintain the water regime in the area.
In this background it may be appropriate to treat the widening projects differently from the new projects in respect of the clearances.
Clearance Requirement
The Highway Projects require following statutory clearances to be obtained from the Government of India and the concerned State Governments.
Land acquisition status, approach and challenges
Before period of 01.01.2015 the average cost of land acquisition was around Rs. 80.00 Lakh per Hectare, which has now gone up to about Rs. 3.60 crore per Hectare. An amount of Rs. 81,000 crore has spent by NHAI on the Land acquisition as against outlay of about Rs. 41,000 crore on the Civil Works out of a total spending of Rs. 1,52,000 crore during last four years from April 2014 to March 2018.
For expansion of an existing two-lane or two lane with paved shoulders road to 4 lane with paved shoulder Highways, the following guidelines shall be followed for end-lane status and the stage development based on the present traffic
Land Acquisition For Highway Projects
Land acquired, total expenditure incurred by the National Highways Authority of India for acquiring the land and average cost per hectare of land acquisition during the last five years
The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has issued Comprehensive Policy Guidelines on Land Acquisition on 28.12.2017 and Manual of Guidelines in December, 2018 to help the State Government and address the issues like, notification of Multiplication Factor, method of calculation of compensation, levy of administrative charge, appointment of arbitrator, Detailed Project Report (DPR) Consultants etc.
Land acquisition still a big issue for road construction where 80 percent of land required before staring construction for HAM and 90 percent of land required for EPC projects. The core solution could be good compensation paid to the owners and few amendments in land acquisition acts.

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