NEW DELHI/GURGAON: Dwarka Expressway, a project caught in an unending loop of delays for the best part of the last decade, frustrating thousands of homebuyers who invested in Gurgaon’s new sectors, will be taken up by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) this November.
The NHAI is ready to commence work on the Haryana section of the expressway and will complete the formalities within four weeks with construction major L&T, which will build this 18km stretch. Work on the Delhi stretch of the expressway will, however, start later. The Delhi government is working on the proposal to allow cutting of trees on the 9.5km portion of the expressway in the capital.
Highways minister Nitin Gadkari had on Wednesday asked the contractors to mobilise men and machinery to start construction work at Dwarka Expressway without delay, a senior ministry official said. Construction of Dwarka Expressway has been divided into five ‘packages’, of which two have been awarded. While L&T has bagged the two in Gurgaon, Reliance Infra and J Kumar have one each in Delhi.
Sources said Gadkari is likely to seek time from Prime Minister Narendra Modi to launch the project from Gurgaon.
“There is no issue left to be addressed in the Haryana portion and work can start latest by mid-November. We have more than 90% land available for construction,” said an official who was present at a high-level meeting on Dwarka Expressway, which was attended by the Delhi chief secretary, Delhi Development Authority (DDA) vice-chairman, officials from the environment and road transport ministries, representatives of Delhi’s forest department and construction companies. “Work on the Delhi portion can start once we get permission for transplantation and cutting of about 13,000 trees,” the official added.
“The environment ministry has said it will issue a clarification about the requirement of compensatory forestation against transplantation,” said an official. The process to get permission may take between 30 and 75 days, officials said.
The Gurgaon administration has decided to fast-track transfer of the remaining land to NHAI. “On the Gurgaon side, land is available for them to start construction. The official transfer of land too will be done by Huda under Gurgaon Metropolitan Development Authority’s charge,” said GMDA chief V Umashankar.