With the fate of resurfacing work on the 27.7-km-long Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway hanging in the balance, the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) has decided to set the ball rolling by fixing potholes and cracks on the entire stretch at the cost of Rs. 2.5 crore.
According to sources, the NHAI has prepared an estimate for the repair work after the concessionaire, Delhi Gurgaon Super Connectivity Limited (DGSCL), failed to act on it despite several reminders.
As per an agreement, the DGSCL was supposed to finish re-carpeting work on the expressway by January 31 at the cost of about Rs. 100 crore.
The NHAI had earlier planned to slap a hefty penalty for the delay but offered a relaxation after IDFC announced plan to take over a majority stake in the DGSCL. IDFC is the lead lender to the expressway project followed by two public sector undertaking banks.
Residents of areas adjoining the expressway — Kherki Daula, Narsinghpur, Khandsa and others — have been staging protests against the expressway operator for the poor condition of roads, especially service lanes.
On February 15, hundreds of villagers lifted boom barriers at the Kherki Daula toll plaza, allowing vehicles to pass without paying toll. The demonstration led to a long traffic jam on the Jaipur-Gurgaon side.
Protesters have been demanding better roads and adequate number of foot-over bridges for pedestrians.
However, the DGSCL spokesperson refuted the allegations.
“Over the last couple of weeks, we have actively carried out road repair work on damaged patches. We have completed work around the Hero Honda Chowk and Narsinghpur near Kherki Daula. Repair work on the remaining sections is underway,” the spokesperson said.
As per the agreement between NHAI and DGSCL, the concessionaire has to overlay 50mm asphalt concrete on the entire every five years. The stretch was opened to public in January 2008.
The NHAI sources said the concessionaire would face penalty for its inaction.