The fate of Delhi government's ambitious Kalindi Bypass project along the Yamuna - proposed to provide motorists an alternative to Mathura Road (National Highway 2) to travel between Ashram Chowk and Faridabad - hangs in the balance.
While the government seems keen to push through the project, which will not only help decongest the busy Ashram crossing and reduce travelling time between Delhi and Faridabad, it faces two major obstructions.
"There is a Delhi High Court order that prohibits any construction within 120-metres of the river bank. The Uttar Pradesh government also seems to be unwilling to part with land near Kalindi Kunj which is important for this project," PWD secretary Nutan Guha Biswas said.
With several residential properties illegally built close to the riverbank in colonies near the Yamuna, sources said some of these may even have to be razed to maintain the 120-metre distance from the riverbank, as specified by the court.
Conceived in the 1990s, the 42.5-km long road project - which includes a 28.8-km stretch in Haryana up to Palla and remaining 13.7-km in Delhi from Kalindi Colony to Badarpur - got the Delhi government's approval in 2003. The government even sanctioned R 100.15 crore to construct the stretch but the project ran into rough weather after the Uttar Pradesh government refused to part some of its land.
Keen to take up the project on build-operate-transfer basis, a team of senior Delhi government officials including chief secretary PK Tripathi, PWD secretary, senior PWD engineers and officials from the CM office and the environment department inspected the site a few days ago where the PWD has proposed to build the road.
"The report is being sent to the chief minister. She will take the final call," Biswas said.
Interestingly, the PWD has already called bids to appoint a consultant for the project and officials said three consultants have already been shortlisted. "The consultant will be finalised only after we get the go-ahead from the government."
"The government will not only have to take up the land issue with the UP government, it will also have to decide if it is ready to raze properties coming in the way of the proposed road," said a senior PWD engineer requesting anonymity.