The 18.9km-long stretch of the Dwarka Expressway in Gurugram from Kherki Daula to Bajghera is likely to be opened to commuters by the end of the year, with officials from the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) revealing on Sunday that December 2022 is the latest deadline for the Gurugram portion of the project.
The 10.1km-long portion of the expressway in Delhi on which work began after nearly a year of construction on the Gurugram stretch will take longer to complete.
“Work is under way in full swing, and we are on track to meet the latest December deadline for the Gurugram portion of the Dwarka Expressway. We hope to open the stretch to commuters by the end of the year,” said a senior NHAI official who did not want to be named.
“However, the work on the 10.1 km stretch in Delhi started later and will take longer. So, the entire expressway cannot be thrown open, but the Haryana stretch will be, and commuters will get some relief,” said the official.
Earlier, Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari, while visiting Gurugram in September last year, said that the expressway would be opened to commuters this year.
Residents, however, have received news of this latest deadline with scepticism, pointing out that it is one among many that have been set for the project since work commenced.
“It would be great if NHAI completed the project by the set deadline. However, most commuters and residents know better than to get their hopes up. Many deadlines were set in the past, all of which NHAI missed for some reason or another. Who is to say the same will not happen again?” asked Trisha Singh, a resident of Sector 89.
Nirmal Kumar, a resident of Sector 102, said, “It would be great if the expressway on the Gurugram side is thrown open by the end of the year. However, while this may ease local traffic movement, inter-city traffic movement will get smoother only when the entire expressway is open. Without that, the impact of the expressway will not really be there, so I hope that we see the entire stretch, not just the Gurugram section, open soon.”
The Rs 9,000 crore Dwarka Expressway project, announced in 2007, would be a northern ring road running between Shiv Murti on National Highway 48 (NH48) in Delhi and Kherki Daula, providing an alternate route to commuters travelling between Gurugram and Delhi.
The 29-kilometre-long road was conceptualised as a stretch to ease travel for commuters and reduce the load on existing routes between the two cities. Although work on the Gurugram portion of the project started in November 2019, construction of the stretch in Delhi began in September the following year.
The work on the portion in Gurugram, with an initial deadline of 24 months, was delayed due to compensation disputes over land acquisition, litigation, the pandemic lockdowns, and multiple bans on construction activities to curb pollution in the winter.
Work was also suspended for nearly eight months last year following the collapse of a portion of an elevated road near Daultabad Chowk that was under construction as part of the expressway. After that, work on the main carriageway and the entire stretch in Gurugram was put on hold and finally resumed in November.
Construction has now speeded up, with the NHAI commencing work on a cloverleaf, another part of the project, last month. It will take around six months to complete. With a circumference of more than two kilometres, its four loops will allow seamless travel towards critical stretches such as Delhi-Gurugram Expressway, Southern Peripheral Road (SPR) and Central Peripheral Road (CPR) and the under-construction Delhi-Mumbai Expressway.
Source : TOI