New Delhi: Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari categorically stated in the Rajya Sabha that the TDP Chief N Chandrababu Naidu was responsible for the delay in the construction of the Vijayawada-Amaravati Ring Road in Andhra Pradesh.
This was in response to YSR Congress Party Rajya Sabha member V Vijayasai Reddy's query about the status of the Inner Ring Road construction around Amaravati, the four-lane Greenfield Highway between Amaravati and Anantapur during the Question Hour in the Rajya Sabha .
Nitin Gadkari said that the previous government had taken considerable amount of time in acquiring lands for the highway projects and this had resulted in the delay in the work.
Chandrababu had earlier said that the state government would bear 100 percent of the cost for land acquisition, but halfway down the project, he had requested the central government pitch in and bear half of the costs.
Meanwhile the acquisition costs had escalated drastically, he said. While the cost of the project which was around Rs 1800 crore, the cost of land acquisition itself was pegged at Rs 800 crore, which made the highway project construction very expensive, hence the delay. This was in response to another query by Vijayasai Reddy, whether the Central government was willing to bear the cost of acquisition of land needed for the construction of the Anantapur-Amaravati Greenfield four-lane Highway.
Nitin Gadkari also said that the Central government was ready to enter into a new MoU with the newly elected YSRCP government. He also informed that Uttar Pradesh was bearing 50 percent of the costs for acquisition of land and many states were coming forward in the similar manner. He said that the state of Andhra Pradesh should also consider the same and come forward.
He also mentioned that if the State government considered to do away with 18 percent tax levied on the project expenditure, the Central government would consider giving the State government shares in the projects.
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