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Tamil Nadu not helping NHAI? Stalin slams Gadkari for giving ‘wrong impression’

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin complained in a letter dated February 11 to Nitin Gadkari, the union minister responsible for roads and highways, about the deplorable state of the road from Chennai to the Ranipet National Highway. According to Stalin, the road’s condition is so awful that he had to schedule his recent trips to a few regions by train.

The reply provided by the Union Minister in the Parliament to a specific request made by DMK MP Dayanidhi Maran in this regard was “very general” and “non-committal”, according to the Tamil Nadu CM, who emphasised that the road segment provides “vital connectivity” from Chennai and its ports to the industrial clusters in Kanchipuram, Vellore, Ranipet, Hosur, and Krishnagiri.

“The condition of the road is so bad that I had to plan my recent visits to a few districts by train. While the request from our MP was very specific on this important road, we were disappointed with your reply which was very general and non-committal,” Stalin said.

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Stalin went on to say that it was regrettable that Nitin Gadkari’s response in Parliament gave the impression that the state administration was not cooperating with the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI).

He also cited the initiatives made by the Tamil Nadu government to help NHAI developments in the state.By providing whatever assistance available, including an exemption from royalty on aggregates, the Chennai Port to Maduravoyal Elevated Expressway Project has been given new life, he added.

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Significant NHAI projects have received comparable concessions, something that was never done before, Stalin said. The duration of soil/gravel licences, according to him, has been increased from three months to one year as a result of requests from the Centre as of September 5, 2022.

For the purpose of overseeing land acquisition for highway construction, the Tamil Nadu administrative centre has established a special cell, Stalin added while saying that no significant NHAI project had been delayed because of a lack of such permissions.

Additionally, at the level of the chief secretary, progress in land acquisition and borrowing by the district collectors is routinely monitored, he said. Other demands to waive material costs, royalties, and seigniorage fees in exchange for giving borrow earth at no cost are also being taken into account, he added.

(With ANI inputs)

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