The final phase of four-laning of National Highway 34, which connects north Bengal with the southern parts of the state, is expected to begin on August 31, a senior official of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) said on Saturday. The 67-km stretch of NH-34 between Barajaguli and Krishnanagar in Nadia district will be taken up for four- laning during the last phase of the project, he said.
"The Rs 1,100-crore Engineering Procurement and Construction (EPC) contract is expected to be executed in 30 months," NHAI CGM R P Singh told. Once completed, 95 per cent of around 500-km stretch of NH-34 between Kolkata and Dalkhola in Uttar Dinajpur district will be a four-lane highway, he said. The 130 km distance between Dalkhola and Siliguri, north Bengal's biggest city, is already a four-lane portion of National Highway 27.
"Due to inability to get land for four-laning of a 17 -km stretch in Barasat in North 24 Parganas district despite paying Rs 200 crore as compensation, the highway widening project now begins from Barajaguli. "On the 67-km stretch till Krishnanagar, four-laning of which will begin on Monday, there are some land-related issues on a four-km portion," Singh said. Four-laning of the around 500-km stretch of the highway had begun a decade ago.
Work on several portions, however, remains incomplete due to land acquisition-related issues and law and order problems, including 17 km in Barasat, four km between Barajaguli and Krishnanagar, 10 km between Berhampore and Farakka and six km between Raiganj and Dalkhola Bypass, sources said. Law and order problems in north Bengal are also affecting work on the Silchar-Porbandar East-West corridor of the Golden Quadrilateral project, they added.