Jammu: Expressing anguish over acquisition proceedings of private land for creating wayside amenities / facilities along the on-going Jammu-Katra Expressway despite availability of the state land, National Conference Provincial President Devender Singh Rana Thursday called for review in the said anti-people policy.
“The policy planners should be sensitive to public sentiment and realise that the development is integral to public welfare, not otherwise”, Mr Rana said while interacting with the locals at Khanpur in Nagrota, hoping that the Highway Authority will desist from such moves.
Rana demanded that the Expressway should be aligned in a manner that it causes least dislocation of the people and largely passes through state land. Alternate alignments and elevated corridors with least disturbance to the existing road and infrastructure should be put to use. These elevated corridors should also be aligned in a manner that the movement of traffic on the main highways is not disturbed at all.
He said the stretch Lakhanpur -Kunjwani -Sidhra -Udhampur has been recently widened and land has been acquired for the same thereby dislocating the population on the sides of the road. “Another attempt to dislocate them, who are just in the process of settling down is inhuman and unfair”, Rana said.
Sharing the concern of the residents of Khanpur area in the Nagrota Assembly Constituency, whose private lands are being acquired for creating wayside amenities and parking facilities , Mr Rana said the move sans logic as huge chunks of the government land is available all over. It is different in certain isolated cases where the acquisition of the private land will become necessary but generally the area has vast state land for the purpose. He said the indiscriminate and illogical acquisition process has generated panic among the people who have just a kanal of land which is getting threatened in the name of development.
Mr Rana said the people of the Nagrota Assembly Constituency are development oriented and very supportive but not at the cost of their own disaster. Ideally, the concerned governmental agency should have taken the locals into confidence before going ahead arbitrarily. “On the one hand the government is indulging in lofty sermons of participatory development and on the other its actions are to the contrary”, he added.
Mr Rana took up the issue with the Government and urged them to intervene into the matter of immense public importance. He hoped that the development will not be at the cost of the public inconvenience.
“Development should be to supplement the public welfare”, he said during his visit to the area and assured the locals that the issue will be vigorously pursued for earnest redressal.