Kathmandu, September 4 The Development and Technology Committee (DTC) under the Federal Parliament has asked the government to submit within 15 days the exact reason for halting works related to the construction of Outer Ring Road. The DTC asked the Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD) today to furnish the reason behind works related to construction of the 6.6-km-long Chobhar to Satungal section being stopped. It also asked the ministry to submit all the necessary documents and progress report of the Outer Ring Road project. Due to conflict related to disbursement of compensation of land acquired for the project and also because of problems in acquiring some private land, the government had stopped all the necessary works related to the construction of the 71.92-km-long Outer Ring Road project on July 19. Earlier, Minister of Urban Development Mohammad Istiyak Rai had said that there were concerns regarding collusion between the land mafia and government officials during acquisition of private land. He had also stated that the ministry would conduct a fresh study on how private land could be acquired for the project. As per Minister Rai, the government would have to pay more compensation as the land planned to be acquired to build the project had been divided into smaller plots. He added that the government may change the alignment of the project to reduce the amount that needs to be paid as compensation. “We have always supported the parliamentary committee to achieve better results, however it has to be understood that the land mafia has become involved by buying land in places that would have been covered by the project. We need to stop them,” Rai stated. Minister Rai had earlier alleged that concerned project officials were involved in buying and plotting the land that the government had planned to acquire to construct the project and were selling the plots to former ministers, high-ranking political leaders, former secretaries, high-level governmental officials and their relatives. He had also mentioned that the ministry would form a high-level investigation committee to look into the case, but the panel is yet to be formed. The Outer Ring Road project aims to interconnect all three old cities of the Valley and newly- declared municipalities through a single road network. The feasibility study of the project that was prepared in 2008 had estimated the project cost at Rs 72 billion, but now the cost has tripled and the project has become infeasible. The first phase of construction of the project will commence from the Chobhar-Satungal section and will occupy 8,000 ropanis of land that had been acquired from 14,000 landowners. Of the total length of the Outer Ring Road, 35.08 kilometres will lie in Kathmandu, 15.80 km in Lalitpur and 21.05 km in Bhaktapur.