The Centre has asked states to free up national highways from any encroachments. The transport ministry has shot off a letter to state governments, directing them to remove encroachments from National Highways (NH) that fall in their territories.
The letter, states that the National Highways were being encroached upon by eatries, vegetable sellers seriouly impacting free flow of traffic and leading to road accidents.
“Encroachment of NH land whether of permanent nature or of a temporary nature is a matter of grave concern for traffic management and operations and future up-gradation projects,” the letter noted.
Officers of the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) are empowered to take action against encroachments under the Control of National Highways (Land & Traffic) Act, 2002. Despite this, there is still a lot of encroachments on NH land, the letter added.
The centre has also requested adequately sensitizing field units to prevent encroachments on National Highways and launch periodical drives to remove all sorts of encroachments from NH land.
Road safety and design has been on the crosshairs of the Transport Ministry lately. Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari has called upon all the state transport ministers and officials to work together to reduce road accidents and deaths by 50% by 2024. He had said this during a session with State Transport Ministers in September this year.
He had also spoken about poor road designs and the need to make safer highways by better planning. In line with this, the Transport Ministry has introduced mandatory training for highways Detailed Project Report Preparation (DPR) consultants.