Taking note of encroachment on national highways, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has written to the concerned authorities to sensitise the field units and launch periodical drives to remove all sorts of encroachment from the National Highway (NH) land.
Referring to encroachment on highways in Chhattisgarh, the Ministry said: “It has been brought to the notice of Ministry that National Highways are being encroached upon by dhabas, vegetable sellers, etc., in approaches to major bridges in Chhattisgarh, which seriously affects free flow of traffic and cause 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 Control of National Highways (Land & Traffic) Act, 2002 has empowered the NH officers to take action against encroachments but still there are a lot of encroachments on NH land, noted the Ministry in its letter which has been addressed to the chief secretaries of states and other concerned authorities.
“It is therefore requested that field units may be adequately sensitised to prevent encroachments on National Highways and launch periodical drives to remove all sorts of encroachments from NH land,” it said.
Earlier, a Parliamentary standing committee in its report ‘Issues relating to Road Sector’ had noted that often there is encroachment of National Highways by vegetable/fruit markets etc. which leads to accidents and opined that the height of National Highways should be raised for controlled access.
The Committee recommended that the Ministry/NHAI may take a serious look into the issue of encroachment of service roads by local markets and create an effective policy in order to curb the same, which may be implemented in coordination with concerned agencies.
The Committee further recommended that provisions may be included in the NHAI’s Sukhad Yatra app to allow highway users to post complaints about encroachment and stray cattles/animals on national highways.