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Saturday, October 9, 2010

NH-34 EXPANSION AND MALDA BYPASS STILL UNSOLVED

MALDA, 16 AUG: A six members’ delegation of Jadupur-I Krishi Jami O Bastuhara Nagarik Adhikar Raksha Committee (JKBNARC) including the former MLA of English Bazaar Mr Samar Roy will meet the Chiefminister Mr Buddhadeb Bhattacharya, the Land and Land Reforms minister Mr Rezzaque Molla and the PWD minister Mr Kshiti Goswami within a week to submit the alternative alignment regarding the proposed bypass for the National Highway 34. The delegation may comprise the panchayat pradhan of Jadupur - I and district secretary of DYFI Mr Kaushik Mishra. Mr Samar roy said that they will strongly plead for the fresh alignment as chalked out by their experts because this will ensure the minimum acquisition of residential plots and cultivation land. Mr Roy claimed that in their proposed alignment the distance between the NH 34 and the tagging point of 73 ‘daag’ will be approximately 2250 metre while the said distance is approximately 2410 metre. “Hence, our proposed alignment will ensure less expenditure by the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) besides saving a large area of agricultural and residential land which is the NHAI’S fundamental policy”, Mr Roy added. JKBNARC already submitted a petition on 23 June to the district magistrate, Malda Mr Pramal Kumar Samanta who postponed the hearing till the controversy is resolved.

The district magistrate Mr Pramal Kumar Samanta said that he will hold a meeting with NHAI authority in the first week of September to look into the latest position of the issue. Mr Samanta informed that in his meeting with the land and land reforms minister Mr Rezzaque Molla on 26 August in Siliguri he will raise the issue to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of both the alignments.

Mr Subrata Nag the Project Director in-charge said on behalf of NHAI that they have requested the district magistrate to convene an all party meeting to reach a consensus in this regard. Mr Nag informed that the notification for acquiring the land and hearing got lapsed on 11 August as there was a large scale controversy in this regard. “We have informed our higher authority in this regard”, said Mr Nag. However, he does not seem to be very optimistic about an early resolution of problem. Hence it is apprehended that the proposed extension of NH-34 and the proposed Bypass to save Malda town from severe congestion are still under the ocean.

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