UNION finance minister Arun Jaitley laid the foundation stone for the Delhi segment of the Dwarka Expressway project in Dwarka on Friday, signalling progress in the project that has been delayed for more than a decade.
The Dwarka Expressway is 29 kilometres (km) long, of which 10.1 km falls in Delhi and 18.9 km in Haryana. It is being developed in four segments.
Work on segments three and four in Gurugram is already underway. In the final phase, this road will be connected to the Indira Gandhi International Airport through a tunnel.
It will be an eight-lane access control road with three-lane service roads on both sides. A cycle track is also proposed to be constructed along the entire length of the highway.
The foundation stone of the ₹90,000-crore Delhi-mumbai Expressway was also laid on Friday, by external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, at the venue.
The Dwarka Expressway was planned in 2006 by the Haryana government and a contract awarded in 2011. The project, however, was delayed due to obstacles in land acquisition and also poor coordination among the Haryana and Delhi governments.
In 2016, Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar asked the Union transport ministry to transfer the project to the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), which agreed to the proposal. The NHAI changed the scope of the project, after declaring it would be a national highway, and proposed to build an elevated access-controlled highway at a cost of ₹9,000 crores.
Strengthening Delhi-ncr connectivity
The foundation stone for the Dwarka Expressway was laid on Friday, after resolution of issues pertaining to land acquisition and coordination among the Delhi and Haryana governments
Work on the Delhi corridor of the project was delayed for over a year and a half, even after land acquisition, due to lack of permission from the Delhi government, which had reservations over proposed felling of trees. However, on March 1, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal cleared the file after the NHAI agreed to transplant 80% of the trees and also provide land and funds for compensatory afforestation, as per the new forest policy of Delhi government.
Speaking on the occasion, Union minister for transport and highways, Nitin Gadkari, said that despite it being a shorter highway than most, difficulties in land acquisition for the project were immense and working with two state governments posed a complex challenge. “Despite the hurdles, we had promised to complete the road and it was due to the cooperation of Delhi and Haryana governments that it has progressed so far,” said Gadkari.
Jaitley said that this road will not only reduce congestion but also lead to development and growth in the region. “These expressways will boost the economy of the country as highways boosted the economy of United States,” he said.
Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar said that completion of this road will help residents of Gurugram and West Delhi, who frequently travel to Gurugram for work. “This road will reduce congestion and also pollution, as there would be fewer jams,” said Khattar.
The ministers also dedicated the ₹1,217-crore Jaipur ring road to the nation.
Source : Ht