The Union Ministry for Road, Transport and Highways has threatened to withdraw the National Highway widening project in Goa because the state government has delayed handing over the land for the same.
Both the National Highways passing through Goa – the erstwhile National Highway No. 17 now called No. 66 and the previous NH 4A now called NH 748 — running from Patradevi in the North to Polem in the South and from Vasco in the West to Anmod in the East, were sought to be widened at a total cost of 2800 crores.
However, in Goa there has been stiff opposition to the proposal as it entails demolishing of people’s houses including those relocated after the original houses were demolished when the highway was earlier widened.
The government has been vacillating over the width of the highways and even suggested different widths at different places, while the Opposition BJP has been opposing the highways on grounds that locals would have to pay through their noses as toll for using the highways.
The Union Ministry in its letter has stated that it will withdraw the project from Goa if the land is not handed over by 31st October 2010.