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Posted at: Nov 20, 2019, 7:28 AM; last updated: Nov 20, 2019, 7:28 AM (IST)

Widening of Karnal-Meerut NH stuck

Why the delay?

  • The Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change is yet to clear the project
  • The ministry will give its nod once the district authorities finalise the land for afforestation
  • The state Forest Department has demanded around 100 acres for afforestation
Widening of Karnal-Meerut NH stuck
The Karnal-Meerut National Highway-709A in Karnal. Tribune photo: Sayeed Ahmed

rveen Arora

Tribune News Service

Karnal, November 19

The widening of the Karnal-Meerut National Highway-709 A, which connects Haryana with Uttar Pradesh, has not started even after two months of laying its foundation stone. Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar had, on September 12, laid the foundation stone of the project.

Sources say the delay is because the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change is yet to clear the project. The ministry will give its nod once the district authorities finalise the land for afforestation, for which the state Forest Department has demanded around 100 acres.

The road comes under the jurisdiction of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), but the state government has taken up the widening work. The national highways wing of the Public Works Department (PWD) is executing the project.

Khattar’s ambitious project will be 14.67-km long and around 10-m wide. The national highway 709 A will be constructed at the cost of Rs105 crore in one year after the allotment of tender.

The sources say the tender will be allotted only after the ministry clears the project.

As per the project, the NH will have six lanes from Devi Lal Chowk to Karnal co-operative sugar mill, the distance being around 2.8 km. the road width will be around 28 m. The rest of the stretch — from the sugar mill to the Haryana-UP border — will have four lanes. It will be widened to 20 m from the present 10 m.

RK Chawla, Sub-divisional Officer (SDO) in the NH wing of the PWD, confirmed the clearance from the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change was awaited. “The government has finalised the detailed project report. As soon as we receive the clearance from the ministry, the tender will be allotted,” he said, adding the land for afforestation would be transferred to the Forest Department in a week.

The Opposition, however, claimed the foundation stone was laid in haste. Congress’ Assandh MLA Shamsher Singh Gogi said the foundation stone was laid because the Assembly elections were approaching. The Chief Minster should have taken feedback from the public before laying the foundation stone.

Traffic congestion on the Karnal-Meerut road has always posed a threat to commuters, as several accidents have taken place on the stretch. On Sunday, a motorcycle-borne youth was killed as a truck crushed him to death.

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