Highway Yet To Be Linked To Ggn Part Of NH-8 Or DelhiBagish.Jha@timesgroup.com
A road, which has among its many fancy housing projects one called Michael Schumacher World Tower, could end up being the slowest one ever made.
The Haryana government floated the idea of building the Dwarka Expressway between the west Delhi township and NH-8 in 2008 and began construction in 2010. Eight years later, the road is still being built — it currently is a chain of concrete stretches with large interruptions in between and isn’t connected to Dwarka or NH-8. In Delhi, construction of the road was also held up because land wasn’t acquired.
Last year, the National Highways Authority of India had taken over the project but it hasn’t been able to start work yet because of land acquisition cases in court. The NHAI will build flyovers and widen the existing road, as it is doing currently on NH-24 (Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut) once it takes over.
There are 14 major bottlenecks on the 19km stretch of the expressway that is in Gurgaon (its total length is 29km) that Haryana’s urban development agency Huda needs to remove before it can hand over the project to NHAI. But Huda has not been able to provide a timeline for how soon it can do that.
In the meantime, thousands of homebuyers who have invested in projects in 34 new Gurgaon sectors (81-115) built around the Dwarka Expressway find themselves in the lurch. Those who have moved in have to navigate their way through three narrow feeder roads, which are currently the only connection between Dwarka Expressway and the rest of the city. And many more whose houses are ready don’t know when they can take possession.
The first set of litigations was filed by residents of New Palam Vihar. It started with them requesting the government to change the alignment of the road, which was rejected on the ground that New Palam Vihar was an illegal colony. The residents then moved the Punjab and Haryana high court. In 2015, the court supervised final terms of settlement between residents and the government.
In 2016, the Centre decided to grant national highway status to the expressway and a detailed project report was prepared in 2017 with a change in the alignment of the expressway to subsume another road — called CPR, or Central Peripheral Road — so that it got a seamless connection with NH-8 in future.
The NHAI clarified it could not formally take over the project till Huda cleared all obstacles. “Until Huda provides land, we will not start construction work,” said Udeep Singhal, project director (NHAI) for Dwarka Expressway.
Huda officials said the agency was waiting for the HC ruling on allotment of plots. “Land is to be given to NHAI so that they can start work. The main issue related to expressway is allotment of alternative plots to GPA, SPA holders, removal of structures coming in the alignment of the road and demarcation of land in New Palam Vihar for encroachment removal,” said Huda administrator Chander Shekhar Khare. He said most structures at Kherki Daula and New Palam Vihar have been removed. “Now only houses of GPA and SPA holders remain to be removed due to pending litigation,” said Khare.
“Repeated delays and lack of clarity on the next steps is adding to the mess,” said Akshay Prasad, member of a forum of homebuyers who have invested in the area. Manish Grover, head of the legal affairs committee of the association, said, “We have been requesting all authorities to fast-track everything that is required for its completion.”