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May Be Fast-tracked; Centre Likely To Bear Cost

The proposed Delhi-Amritsar-Katra Expressway, which promises windfall of development for Punjab, Haryana and Jammu and Kashmir, may soon be put on the fast track with Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari on Thursday holding discussions with the three states to iron out issues of alignment of the road and footing the burden of land acquisition costs.

In the meeting, held in New Delhi, with Punjab Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal and Jammu and Kashmir Deputy Chief Minister Dr Nirmal Singh, Gadkari is understood to have assured the states that in view of financial constraints being faced by them, his ministry will find a way to save them the costs, so that they could instead utilise government land along the proposed expressway for establishing logistic hubs, industrial parks, etc.

May Be Fast-tracked; Centre Likely To Bear Cost, Lifeinchd
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rnPhoto By: Life in Chandigarh

He suggested formation of a group comprising revenue secretaries from the three states as well as the central government to study and recommend modalities for the land acquisition process.
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rnFavouring the alignment of the expressway via Pathankot into Amritsar to Tarn Taran to Moga to Barnala and Samana before moving into Haryana, Capt. Amarinder Singh said this will go a long way in boosting industrial development in these laggard areas. He also appealed to the Union minister for the Centre to foot the entire land acquisition costs for the expressway in the light of Punjab’s poor fiscal health.
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rnPointing out that though the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) had invited bids for appointment of a consultant to conduct feasibility studies and prepare a DPR for the proposed expressway, the process was going on at a slow pace, the chief minister urged the Union Minister to get work on the proposed expressway expedited.

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