Maharashtra to amend State Highway Bill

The Maharashtra government has decided to amend the State Highway Bill to incorporate the provisions of the proposed land pooling model. The move is aimed at expediting the development of the Nagpur-Mumbai Expressway project. The model entails the provision of developed land (measuring 25 per cent of the land acquired for the project) and a compensation of Rs 20,000 per acre to farmers for 10 years for loss of crops on the acquired land. The land pooling procedure is expected to be completed by October 2016. About 9,000 hectares of land is required for the project, which involves the construction of an 800 km expressway from Nagpur to Mumbai, passing through Ghoti, Aurangabad and Amravati, and connecting Vidarbha, Marathwada and north Maharashtra. The Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation will implement the project in partnership with the central government.