The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Centre mulls Bill to hasten land takeover

New Delhi, Sept. 10: Out of 455 Central projects involving Rs 2,24,075 crore as many as 151 are delayed, mainly due to problems in land acquisition, funds crunch, award of contracts, lack of modern management techniques and law and order troubles.

To overcome the biggest hurdle, land acquisition, the Centre is planning to bring in a legislation for speedy takeovers.

The delayed projects mostly belong to the ministries of surface transport, petroleum and natural gas and railways.

Minister of state for statistics and programme implementation Vijay Goel has announced steps to expedite the projects. Of the 455, only 147 projects are on schedule, Goel said. Six are ahead of schedule and 71, though in advanced stages of completion, are held up due to small problems.

To ensure early completion of the projects, Goel’s ministry is planning to set up a Standard Contract Management System and then table the Bill in Parliament to amend the Land Acquisition Act.

A standard rehabilitation package will also be lined up.

Efforts are on to convene regular inter-ministerial co-ordination meetings to resolve the problems, Goel said.

Last year, 96 projects were completed at a cost of Rs 20,000 crore. By 2008, Goel said, an estimated 400 projects will be complete. The minister would tour Gujarat, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu to inspect projects.

The chiefs of the larger projects will be invited at regular intervals to ensure the timely completion of projects and to discuss the issue of ministerial co-ordination.

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