The much-delayed package two of the Dwarka Expressway has received the Delhi government’s approval and work on this stretch is likely to start next month, officials familiar with the matter said on Tuesday. The permission for transplanting and cutting trees on this stretch was granted last week by the forest department of the Delhi government, confirmed a senior official in the Union ministry for road transport and highways on Tuesday.
The 29.1-km Dwarka Expressway will connect Shiv Murti at Mahipalpur to a point near Kherki Daula toll plaza, and further connect the Southern Peripheral Road with Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway through an interchange.
Package one and two of the Dwarka Expressway are part of the 11-km Delhi corridor (the remaining 18.1-km falls in Haryana) and these have been delayed by over 1.8 years because of the Delhi government’s reservations on cutting around 6,500 fully grown trees falling on the road’s alignment.
The Delhi government approved the package last week, with stringent conditions for transplantation and compensatory forestation, after repeated submissions by the Union transport ministry and groups of homebuyers who have invested in areas along this expressway, NHAI officials said.
NHAI chief general manager Manoj Kumar confirmed that approval for package two has been received and it would take a month’s time to start work. “We have got the approval to shift the trees; work will start soon on package two,” he said.
As per the consent received from the Delhi government, NHAI officials said that they will transplant around 3,500 trees and another 3,000 will be felled for which compensatory afforestation will be done. For the plantation drive, the NHAI has identified chunks of land along the Dwarka Expressway and Yamuna floodplains, officials said, adding that some plantation would also be done on land identified by DDA and the Delhi forest department.
“The highways authority will follow the norms set by the Delhi government and ensure that trees are transplanted safely. For every tree that is felled, we will plant 10 times the number and ensure it survives by ensuring maintenance and care for next five years,” said a senior NHAI official on the condition of anonymity.
Dwarka Expressway is being developed in four packages. Package two is a 4.5-km-long elevated road from Dwarka Sector 21 underpass to the Haryana border. It will comprise separate elevated structures, which will run parallel to each other and have a large interchange to provide connectivity to Gurugram from Najafgarh, Dwarka and west Delhi. There will be eight elevated lanes and six surface lanes with multiple entry and exit points from Urban Estate Road-2 and the India International Convention Centre in Dwarka Sector-25.
Approval for package one, which comprises of 5.3-km stretch from Shiv Murti on NH48 to rail underbridge near Sector 21 is still awaited. Work on packages three and four, which fall in Gurugram, has started and the highway contractor L&T said they are on schedule to complete the road by end of 2020.