The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has given the nod to complete the Dwarka Expressway as a national highway, as promised by Union transport minister Nitin Gadkari during the Happening Haryana summit.
The highways authority is preparing a detailed project report (DPR) and it will soon start the process of land acquisition in Delhi and parts of Gurgaon to complete the expressway that has been stuck in litigation since its inception in 2006.
The proposed 150-metre wide Dwarka-Palam Vihar link or Northern Peripheral Road (NPR) connecting Dwarka and NH-8 in Gurgaon was envisaged 10 years ago and it was to be ready before the Commonwealth Games 2010.
The road has already missed six deadlines and, during the Happening Haryana Summit, union transport minister Nitin Gadkari had agreed to give it national highway status on the request of the Haryana government.
Project director of NHAI Ashok Sharma said that the ministry has given an approval in principle to complete the Dwarka Expressway and they have also started identifying land that is needed for construction on the Delhi side, and also in Gurgaon.
“We have received the land documents from concerned land acquisition officers and a detailed estimate of land as well the proposed development is on the anvil. To acquire land at the earliest, notification of land will be made under the NHAI Act,” Sharma said.
Acquisition of land under the NHAI Act is relatively easy as national interest is cited as the reason for acquisition.
In Gurgaon, the construction of Dwarka Expressway is stuck in two stretches — New Palam Vihar and Kherki Daula — as land owners, whose property was to be acquired, approached the Punjab and Haryana High Court in 2008 for rehabilitation. In May last year, the HC directed the state government to give plots and compensation to the evictees in six to nine months. However, the Haryana Urban Development Authority (Huda) could not do this because of the lack of land.
On April 5, the Haryana government had given its consent to declare this road as a national highway. The additional chief secretary PWD (B&R), Haryana, told the central government that the Huda shall provide a 75-metre- wide corridor for 18 kilometres of the road in Haryana. Haryana officials have also asked the NHAI to incorporate the proposed metro corridor on this stretch.
Meanwhile, additional chief secretary of town and country planning said that the mistakes in planning the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway should not be repeated while designing the Dwarka Expressway. “There is a need to ensure that underpasses, cloverleaf interchanges and other measures are planned and executed,” he said.