Chandigarh: Having suffered a delay of nearly five years due to various factors, the 136-km Kundli-Manesar-Palwal Expressway project may finally be completed with the Haryana government approving resumption of work on the stalled project.
"Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar has given his approval for resuming work on the project in two phases. While the Manesar-Palwal section would be completed in nine months, the Manesar-Kundli section would be completed in two years," a spokesman of the Haryana State Industrial and Infrastructural Development Corporation (HSIIDC), which is the executing agency of the project, said here Monday.
The Supreme Court had Jan 30 directed the Haryana government to award the contract for the project to a new concessionaire within two months. The new concessionaire will have to commence work within a month`s time, the spokesman said.
The construction work on the six-lane expressway, slated to pass through five districts in Haryana - Sonipat, Jhajjar, Gurgaon, Mewat and Palwal - was stalled following certain issues with the concessionaire which was constructing it.
The project, launched with much fanfare by the previous Congress government led by Bhupinder Singh Hooda, has been delayed much beyond its completion deadline of December 2009.
The crucial project was being executed by M/s KMP Expressways Ltd., a consortium of DSC Ltd. and Apollo Enterprises.
The concessionaire was accused by the Hooda government of missing completion deadlines repeatedly.
The concessionaire alleged that the government had failed to acquire land for the project in time leading to cost escalation. Less than 65 percent of the project had been completed till October 2011.
The Haryana government, after repeated warnings, invoked the penalty clause against the concessionaire which approached the Supreme Court.
The spokesman said completion of the project would not only provide high-speed link to northern Haryana with its southern districts like Gurgaon, Faridabad and Palwal, but also de-congest the National Capital Territory (NCT) of Delhi.
Khattar had earlier made it clear that hindrances coming in the way of construction of the KMP Expressway were being removed and work on the project would start soon.
The KMP expressway will ease the inflow of traffic, especially heavy vehicles like trucks, passing through the national capital.
The significance of the expressway is not only that it will connect four major national highways (NH), NH-1 (Delhi-Ambala-Amritsar), NH-2 (Delhi-Agra-Varanasi-Dankuni), NH-8 (Delhi-Jaipur-Ahmedabad-Mumbai) and NH-10 (Delhi-Hisar-Fazilka-Pakistan border), but will significantly reduce the traffic from north Indian states to central, western and south India and vice versa.
Thousands of vehicles, especially trucks, which now pass through New Delhi, will be able to bypass the national capital once the KMP expressway is completed.
Originally slated to be completed in November 2009, the nearly Rs.19 billion (Rs.1,900 crore) expressway missed several deadlines.