After the new land acquisition bill that came into effect this January has been creating difficulties for the UPA Government. One of the major projects, Delhi – Jaipur expressway announced by the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in November 2013 was the priority project.
At the time of announcement, the land acquisition cost estimated for the 272 Kilometer long expressway was about Rupees 5,000-6,000 Crores. After the new land acquisition bill came into effect, Government have to pay a lot more to the land owners for the acquisition which ultimately leaded to the higher project cost. The estimated cost of land acquisition after the bill is estimated to reach up to 18,000 Crore, almost three times to that of the initial cost.
The government has now gone back to the drawing board to figure out a new structure and create a financial model so that the feat can be accomplished. The project is now going to cost at least 32,000 crores. Even after any private player that contribute to the development of Delhi-Jaipur expressway through the PPP mode will only pay the amount it takes to construct the expressway which is approximately Rupees 6,000 Crores. Still rest of amount is to be paid by the UPA government.
During a meeting held last week, it was decided that the officials should look for alternatives to bring the cost down such as building an elevated corridor using the government land, or building the expressway on the existing highway.
According to the officials, Government of the involved states Delhi, Haryana and Rajasthan have been asked to review the project and share their commitments towards the direct financial support, cost of nodes of entry and exit points of the expressway or sharing the revenue near these nodes with the Government. But no commitment has been received from any of the Government, an official said.