Of its total acquisition nationally, the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) has acquired a bulk of land in Madhya Pradesh in the first quarter of the current fiscal, though it failed to acquired any land in 8 states, revealed the government in the Lok Sabha.
According to data provided by Road Transport Minister Kamal Nath, NHAI had acquired 444.01 hectares between April and June 30 this year in the 18 states listed by the Minister. The bulk of this acquisition, about 52%, took place in Madhya Pradesh, with Tamil Nadu following it at 19% and Kerala at 11%.
However, no land could be acquired in 8 states which include Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Rajasthan and West Bengal.
Over the last three fiscals and the first quarter this year, NHAI acquired 12,473.06 hectares with Madhya Pradesh accounting for the maximum, followed by Uttar Pradesh, Assam and Rajasthan. India has a NH network of 70,548 km with Uttar Pradesh having the longest stretch (6,774 km).
While the data do indicate the ease in acquiring land in a state, it should also be seen in the backdrop of the geographical size of the State (particularly in the context of small States such as Delhi). The length of existing National Highways in the State should also be taken into account because the NH development has primarily happened by widening the existing highways.