Construction and Problems
The construction of the expressway is going to be done under a Public-private partnership model. The state government of Uttar Pradesh accepted bids from various infrastructure companies. A total of 18 developers submitted proposal to build the expressway. Some of the companies which submitted the bids included:
- DLF Universal
- GMR Group
- Jaypee Group
- Larsen & Toubro
- Reliance Infrastructure
- Unitech Group
The Uttar Pradesh government awarded the Ganga Expressway contract to Jaypee Infratech Pvt. Ltd. According to the contract, Jaypee will build the expressway at no cost to public finance, in exchange for the right to maintain, operate and collect tolls on the expressway for a 35-year period and right to procure and develop a few land parcels for commercial activity along the 1000+ kilometer expressway. The construction was anticipated to be started by April 2008.
However, a series of land acquisition issues, legal challenges and judicial motions have prevented construction work on the Ganga Expressway.
According to the Uttar Pradesh government's Expressway Industrial Development Authority 2009-2010 update, the land required for the Ganga Expressway project is 26,374 hectares (264 square kilometers). This land area includes land for the expressway, supporting exits and links, and associated land parcels.
The Ganga Expressway, the state government claims, will be on top of a flood-controlling left bank embankment along theriver Ganga, with a total length of 1047 kilometers, featuring four bridges over river Ganga, 39 additional major bridges, 199 minor bridges, 1248 culverts, 25 interchanges, 23 flyovers, 187 vehicular underpasses, 244 pedestrian passes. About 65% of the required land area for the Ganga Expressway project will be dedicated as embankment to prevent annual floods and the resulting agricultural, environmental and property damage.
Uttar Pradesh, one of the states in northern region of India, has total area of 294,411 square kilometers (113,673 sq mi). The Ganga Expressway, once it is fully complete and in commercial use, will represent less than 0.1% of the state's land area.
To address the land acquisition issues, the government of Uttar Pradesh announced a revised land acquisition policy in June 2011. This policy is part of what the state government calls “Karar Niyamavali,” the guiding policy for land acquisition by the government from the citizens of its state. This policy’s section 6 provides certain protections to any farmer whose land has been fraudulently transacted. The rules require that any fraudulent transaction be considered for appeal and cancelled. The farmer whose land has been fraudulently transacted has a right to compensation and damages from the state government whenever fraud is discovered and reported.
The revised land acquisition policy provides the following compensation to the farmers from whom land is being acquired:
- An annuity for 33 years of Rs. 23,000 per acre ($510 per acre every year), plus an increase every year of Rs. 800 per acre; or,
- A lump sum upfront payment of Rs. 2,76,000 per acre ($6,100 per acre)
According to The Financial Times in 2008, farmland prices in France were euro 6,000 per hectare ($2,430 per acre; Rs. 1,09,350 per acre.)
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, as of January 2010, the average farmland value in the United States was $2,140 per acre (Rs. 96,300 per acre). Farmland prices in the United States varied between different parts of the country, ranging between $480 per acre to $4,690 per acre.
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