Kshiti alternative to Salim route

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By Staff Reporter in Calcutta
  • Published 22.05.07

Calcutta, May 22: With land acquisition on the backburner, the government has hit upon an alternative plan for the proposed Barasat-Raichak expressway.

PWD minister Kshiti Goswami has suggested to the chief minister an alternative alignment, for which a network of poor existing roads would have to be upgraded.

“If a network of very bad and narrow roads is widened, a link between Barasat and Raichak can be established. Most of the land already belongs to the government and a little more will have to be acquired,” Goswami said.

The new route, however, will mean a detour and increase travelling time by about 20 minutes.

The chief minister has asked Goswami to submit a detailed proposal.

Going by the alignment chalked out by the Indonesia-based Salim Group for the 96-km expressway, the government would have had to acquire around 3,500 acres.

The Indonesia-based conglomerate was also slated to build 10 commercial plazas along the expressway.

Officials said a survey of the area to be acquired was almost complete when Nandigram flared up.

Since then, all acquisition, barring that for the South 24-Parganas district headquarters in Baruipur and the Jindal and Bhushan steel plants in West Midnapore and Burdwan, has been stalled. The government has announced that it will not initiate the acquisition process until a consensus is reached at the grassroots.

Land minister Abdur Rezzak Mollah, who came to know of Goswami’s proposal today, called him up to enquire about its details.

Mollah’s constituency — Canning East in South 24-Parganas — is one of the areas through which the Salim’s expressway would have passed.