Centre to build expressways to link Delhi to Jaipur, Chandigarh

The government on Tuesday said it plans to build two new expressways linking neighbouring pink city Jaipur and Chandigarh to the national capital -- ventures that are likely to cost up to nearly USD 3 billion (Rs 12,750 crore).

Updated: Apr 05, 2011, 21:08 PM IST

New Delhi: The government on Tuesday said it plans
to build two new expressways linking neighbouring pink city
Jaipur and Chandigarh to the national capital -- ventures that
are likely to cost up to nearly USD 3 billion (Rs 12,750
crore).

"The Centre has decided to build Delhi Jaipur and
Delhi-Chandigarh expressways. Ministry officials will take up
the issue with states of Delhi, Rajasthan and Haryana. Once
they come on board, we will get the detailed project report,"
Road Transport and Highways Minister CP Joshi told agency.
The move comes at a time when the Government is
re-examining a proposal to set up Expressway Authority of
India (EAI) on the pattern of National Highways Authority of
India (NHAI) to facilitate building over 18,000 km of roads
for high speed traffic entailing Rs 4,50,000 crore investment.

Asked about proposed cost for both the expressways,
Joshi said that these are yet to be assessed.

However, going by estimates of Rs 18 per km for a
four-lane expressway and Rs 25.5 per km for a six-way project,
the total cost of both the schemes comes in the range of Rs
9,000-Rs 12,750 crore. Sources said both the expressways would
comprise 250 km stretches each.

Joshi said the need for the expressways to both the state
capitals was felt in view of increasing traffic. Present
highways - Delhi-Jaipur stretch on NH-8 and Delhi-Chandigarh
stretch on NH-1-- witness heavy traffic.

Both the projects would be on new alignments.

Asked about existing norms that restricts Centre from
building competing roads to present tolled highways, the
Minister said the proposed expressways would start from new
points to avoid contractual issues.

Expressways provide unhindered, high-speed, and safe
movement of traffic and the government last year had announced
setting up an EAI, a nodal body to build 18,637 km of
expressways in three phases by 2022.

The Transport Ministry in December, 2008, had hired a
consultant for formulating the master plan for the national
expressway network in a phased manner, which was accepted by
the government.
However, the plan was later shelved with the government
saying it was facing problems in land acquisition and the
issue was being re-examined.

Meanwhile the government plans to build 10,000 kms of
expressways under phase VI under the National Highways
Development Project (NHDP).

The project is India`s largest highways programme to
build and upgrade 54,000 km of roads at an estimated
expenditure of Rs 3 lakh crore.

NHDP is being executed in seven phases.

PTI