Commuters will have to wait longer for the opening of the much awaited Dwarka Expressway. According to officials from the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), the remaining work on the 18.9km stretch of the expressway falling in the city will be complete only by October this year. It was earlier expected to be complete by August.
The highway authority is now merging the slip roads on the Central Peripheral Road (CPR) and Southern Peripheral Road (SPR) to the carriageways of NH-8. Two slip roads link CPR to the highway, while another connects SPR to it.
Initially, NHAI had joined the slip roads to NH-8’s service lanes and there were no plans of traffic merging with that on the main carriageways. But the lack of a merger was adding to traffic chaos, as commuters from new sectors along the expressway were using the incomplete stretch to go to NH-8 and vice versa, choking the narrow service lanes.
In May this year, a safety audit report also pointed out this issue and recommended providing direct connectivity with the main carriageways for smooth flow of traffic.
A senior NHAI official maintained they will be able to complete the work in the next two months. “The merging of traffic on the main carriageway was not part of the initial plan. After getting all the necessary approvals, we were able to start the work only in July, but rain hampered progress. We are now hoping to complete the road construction work by September end and other miscellaneous work, including thermoplastic paint, road marking and signage, by October. Similar finishing work across the Gurgaon section of the expressway too will be complete by then,” the official added.
Meanwhile, a 220 kVA high-tension line near Garhi Harsaru which passes over the expressway is yet to be shifted. Until this is done, NHAI won’t be able to commission the stretch, the official added. “The cable has been shifted partially but it has still not been done as per the clearance required (the minimum clearance for a high-tension cable is 8 metres from the ground). At present, only light vehicles can be allowed. But it is not possible for us to differentiate or separate vehicles and heavy vehicles will eventually use the expressway once it becomes operational,” the official added.
Haryana Vidyut Prasaran Nigam Limited (HVPNL) said they will complete the work soon. “The norms for crossing of 220 kVA power lines were recently revised. We are rerouting it so to avoid the crossing altogether. Although we are executing the work, it was initially supposed to be done by NHAI. We are trying to finish the work as soon as possible,” an official said.
Envisaged by the Haryana government in 2006, NHAI took up the project in 2016 and began construction in November 2019, with an original deadline of two years.
Residents, meanwhile, expressed displeasure over further delays in the opening of the expressway. “Besides being a huge inconvenience to those living in new sectors, it’s also a threat to life and property since commuters are still using the stretch despite barricades. There is utter chaos with broken unfinished patches and traffic moving on the wrong side. NHAI must prioritise completing the slip roads as well so that direct connectivity to NH-8 is accessible,” said Swarup Dutta, a resident of DLF Ultima in Sector 81.
Source : TOI