May 31 deadline set for Western Peripheral Expressway
A new timeline of May 31 next year was set to complete construction of the 135km-long Western Peripheral Expressway, connecting Kundli in north of Delhi with Palwal in Haryana, that will ease vehicular traffic on Delhi roads.
New Delhi: A new timeline of May 31 next year was set on Friday to complete construction of the 135km-long Western Peripheral Expressway, connecting Kundli in north of Delhi with Palwal in Haryana, that will ease vehicular traffic on Delhi roads.
The expressway, which already missed several deadlines, is expected to decongest various city roads as it will serve as a bypass for vehicles which pass through Delhi on the way to other states.
The new timeline for completion of the mega project costing around Rs 2,700 crore was finalised at a meeting held here between Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and her Haryana counterpart Bhupinder Singh Hooda.
"It was decided to complete the project by May 2013. We resolved all issues coming in the way of completing the project," Dikshit said after the meeting.
The Expressway will link a number of highways passing through Delhi, besides criss-crossing various towns and cities in Haryana. It will connect NH-1 at Kundli and NH-2 at Faridabad via NH-10 and NH-8.
The Delhi government has already paid over Rs 621 crore as compensation for land acquisition for the expressway. The land acquisition cost for the project is being shared by Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. As per agreement, Delhi would incur 50 per cent of land acquisition cost while Haryana and Uttar Pradesh would pay 25 per cent each.
The cost of land acquisition has increased from Rs 167 crore to Rs 1,110 crore, officials said, adding that the Delhi Government may need to pay more money as compensation for land acquisition.
The meeting decided that 52 km-long stretch between Manesar and Palwal will be opened for vehicular traffic within next 100 days as 90 per cent of the work has been completed, they said.
The meeting was also attended by Delhi PWD Minister Raj Kumar Chauhan, his Haryana counterpart Randeep Surjewala, Supreme Court-appointed monitor for the project Bhure Lal, besides top officials of Transport Ministry, Urban Development Ministry, National Highway Authority of India and the concessionaire.
Expressing concern over delay in commissioning of the Expressway, Dikshit said the air quality of the national capital was fast deteriorating due to the heavy traffic going through Delhi to other states.
"The delay in commissioning of Western Expressway may defeat the very purpose of the project," she said. The project was undertaken following a ruling of the Supreme Court.
Officials said 60 per cent of the work on the project has been completed as construction slowed down due to litigation among the bidding consortium firm and also between the Haryana State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation (HSIIDC) and the consortium.
The Haryana Chief Minister exhorted the concessionaire to amicably settle all issues with HSIIDC which is implementing the project. Hooda said around 3,354 acres of land has been acquired for the project.
Lal underlined the importance of early commissioning of the Expressway which will go a long way in curbing vehicular pollution in Delhi.
In case the project is not commissioned at the earliest, the air pollution in Delhi will touch the level of pollution recorded during 2001-02, officials said.