The road transport ministry is looking into an ambitious proposal to decongest Delhi by building eight elevated roads that will connect to the Eastern and Western Peripheral Expressways, two upcoming ring roads around the Capital.
The elevated roads would redirect outbound traffic through the expressways, which when complete, will provide an alternate route for traffic not bound for the Capital, and dramatically free up choked roads, significantly improving the city’s toxic air. .
“We are studying the proposal that the NHAI has given to decongest Delhi. We have not finalised it as yet. The plan envisages the traffic going out of Delhi should not enter city roads and congest it,” road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari told HT.
“They can go out of the city through the elevated road which would connect to the Eastern and Western Peripheral Expressways,” Gadkari said.
Senior National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) officials confirmed the plan’s submission to the ministry.
“We are still studying the different road alignments that would be connected to the two expressways and how will it be executed. Details related to cost is also being worked out,” said an NHAI official.
However, road ministry officials admit building elevated roads in Delhi won’t be easy.
“There are complex engineering issues involved such as the height of the elevated roads. There are so many metro pillars and railway crossings inside the city. The roads will have to be designed in a way that these pillars don’t come in the way. All the roads will have to be aligned together,” said a senior official.
Cost and land acquisition issues will also have to be worked out before giving a go-ahead to the project. Acquiring land for the project can also be a tricky issue in the Capital where vacant land is in short supply.
“Unlike a normal highway where per km cost comes to around Rs 12 crore, for a six-lane elevated road, the per km cost works out to anywhere between Rs 70 crore to Rs 100 crore per km. We have to work out the funding mode and if the project is financially viable,” said a NHAI official.