NEW DELHI: After several flip-flops, the road transport and highways has decided to build the much delayed Delhi-Meerut expressway
starting from Nizamuddin Bridge on Ring Road. This is one of three expressway projects that PMO is monitoring with the target of awarding work in this financial year.
Once complete, commuters will be able to reach Meerut in 45 to 60 minutes
and cut travel time to Haridwar and Dehradun
by almost an hour.
While the present stretch of NH-24 up to UP Gate will be widened to 14 lanes from the present eight, the road between UP Gate and Dasna will be eight-laned. The next phase of the expressway will be built on a new alignment from Dasna to Meerut — a six-lane stretch joining Meerut bypass.
“Since the expressway has been planned to improve connectivity between Delhi and Meerut, the six central lanes on the Delhi-UP Gate stretch will be barricaded exclusively for traffic heading towards Meerut,” said a transport ministry official.
The official said local traffic would use the rest
eight lanes without having to pay toll. “Those entering the expressway lanes will be tolled even if they get out at UP Gate or Dasna,” he said.
The Uttar Pradesh government was earlier keen on getting Rs 900 crore central assistance for widening of NH-24 from UP Gate to Dasna. It wanted the work to be executed by the state public works department. Earlier, the road ministry had also floated a tender to widen this stretch with 100% government funding.
Sources said now there was no going back by the Centre on the project. The estimated cost of the entire corridor, including land acquisition, is expected to be close to Rs 6,450 crore and government will bid it out on a build-operate-transfer (toll) mode.
Sources said the proposal of starting the expressway from Nizamuddin Bridge was taken to tap the huge traffic flow from Delhi to make the project financially viable. The 28km stretch between Nizamuddin Bridge and Dasna is one of the most congested in the NCR. The traffic flow is likely to increase considering dozens of new residential projects coming up along this stretch of NH-24.
NH-58 that connects Anand Vihar with Meerut has already congested and there is almost no scope of further expansion since the road passes through built-up areas in Muradnagar and Modi Nagar. So, the expressway is expected to come as a big relief for those going towards Haridwar and Dehradun.