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Dug-up roads, jams & chaos

delhi Updated: Jun 21, 2009 22:56 IST
Atul Mathur
Atul Mathur
Hindustan Times
Dug-up roads

Eight years and virtually no progress.

This is the story of the 12.8-kilometre stretch of the National Highway 1 from Mukerba Chowk to Singhu Border in North West Delhi being widened from four lanes to eight lanes.

Work started on this busy road -- an important link for inter-state traffic going to Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir - started in 2001.

Eight years later, the road is littered with partially constructed underpass and flyovers and long stretches of dug-up roads that cause long traffic snarls.

The main reason for the delay is poor performance of two contractors who had taken up the work, said NHAI officials.
The project is a part of the ambitious North-South corridor of the National Highway Authority of India's (NHAI) National Highway Development Programme (NHDP).

The NHAI has already terminated the contracts of two companies in the past eight years and has awarded another contract to a third company to complete the project.

The widening of the road and construction of underpasses and flyovers at congested traffic intersections would have provided non-stop movement for straight-moving traffic.

"The first contractor had submitted forged documents while bidding for the project. We terminated his contract in 2004," said a senior NHAI official not authorised to speak to the media.

The NHAI awarded a fresh contract to yet another company in December 2004. "The contractor made little progress and his contract was also terminated for non-performance in January 2009 and a penalty levied on him," the official added.

"The 85-crore project has to be completed within 15 months of signing the contract. This project will be completed before the Commonwealth Games," NHAI spokesperson V.K. Sharma said.