NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday inaugurated the Kundli-Manesar-Palwal (KMP) Expressway in Gurugram. While the PM inaugurated the expressway - and questioned the previous governments for the delay, the Congress has questioned the intention of the Centre and state government behind what it claims is hastened inauguration.
Making note of the fact that the expressway was initially meant to be used during the Commonweath Games of 2010, PM Modi rued the numerous delays. "The previous government had a much different way of functioning. This expressway should have been yours 8 to 9 years back but that never happened. It was meant to be used during CWG but like the corruption in CWG, this expressway too was caught in a web," he said.
Prior to the inauguration, Congress had questioned the timing of the event. "Is the incomplete flyover being inaugurated with an eye on upcoming elections or to make the private company earn Rs 26 crore monthly," Congress leader Randeep Surjewala had tweeted.
Claiming that the flyover is incomplete, he said that the government is putting the lives of people at risk. "Why are you inaugurating a half-completed KMP expressway and putting the lives of passengers at risk. Where is the completion certificate from Consultant and HSIIDC? How can this be opened for operation without inspection by engineers," he tweeted.
The 136-kilometres-long KMP Expressway or the Western Peripheral Expressway has been built by the Haryana government. However, the cost of land acquisition, utility shifting and project preparation, etc for both the Eastern Peripheral Expressway (executed by National Highways Authority of India) and Western Peripheral Expressway (KMP Expressway) was borne by the Delhi government, Uttar Pradesh government and Haryana government in the ratio of 50:25:25 respectively.
The expressway links four National Highways number 1, 10, 8 and 2 running through the districts of Sonepat, Jhajjar, Gurugram, Mewat and Palwal. With the expressway being brought into operation, the traffic congestion of the National Capital Region is likely to be eased.
It will provide high speed link to the Northern Haryana with its Southern Districts like Gurugram, Faridabad and Palwal. By taking this expressway, people traveling from North India will not need to pass through NCR. The de-congestion will also reduce pollution in NCR tremendously.
The project initially started in 2006 and was to be developed on Built-Operate-Transfer (BOT) basis and had to be completed by 2009. However, it took 15 years to complete as it missed multiple deadlines.
In June 2012, a new deadline of May 2013 was decided in a meeting between Haryana government, Delhi government and the developer. However, with a delay in construction, the HSIIDC decided to penalise the company in April 2012. Thereafter, the matter went to the courts and the project was put on the back burner.
The lenders led by IDBI bank had served a substitution notice to KMP Expressways for its continued defaults due to which the then Congress government in Haryana decided to terminate the contract and pay the KMP Expressways and the lenders a lump sum amount of Rs 1,300 crore as a termination payment.
However, in 2014, the project was revived and was also upgraded to six-lanes instead of the earlier sanctioned 4-lane. On April 5 2016, the 53-km stretch between Manesar and Palwal was opened for public use.
Earlier, the Prime Minister had inaugurated the Eastern Peripheral Expressway or the Kundli-Ghaziabad-Palwal (KGP) Expressway on May 27 in Baghpat, Uttar Pradesh.