One thing the newly appointed Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways is expected to do for Delhi is to finalise the contract for the Eastern Peripheral Expressway.
Reliance Infrastructure (Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group) was the sole bidder for this Rs 2600-crore-plus project when financial bids were opened last December.
“The Ministry for Road Transport and Highways is yet to decide whether to award the contract to the single bidder or call fresh bids for the project,” a senior National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) official told Hindustan Times.
It was in March 2004 that the Supreme Court had appointed NHAI as the nodal agency for construction of two expressways around Delhi, to check non-Delhi-bound trucks from passing through the Capital.
While the Western Peripheral Expressway (Kundli-Manesar-Palwal) is ready, the Eastern Peripheral Expressway is caught in controversies.
Initially, NHAI had problems with land acquisition work and later the bidding process took unusually long.
“The land acquisition process is almost complete. We have acquired over 95 per cent of the 1,860-hectare land required for this project. There will be no delay once the concessionaire is finalised,” the NHAI official said.
Construction of this 135-km expressway would require an investment of Rs 2,676 crore.
The project includes construction of an access-controlled six-lane expressway between Faridabad and Sonepat via Noida and Ghaziabad.
There will be four major bridges (two on the Yamuna and one each on the Hindon and the Agra Canal) and 55 other bridges. The project is expected to reduce traffic in Delhi by keeping away vehicles not destined for Delhi.