This time, next year, Delhi’s air would be a lot cleaner.
The Kundli-Manesar-Palwal (KMP) Expressway, which is nearing completion, is expected to divert a big chunk of the truck traffic that enters the Capital every night.
Transport department officials estimate roughly 11,000 trucks enter the city daily.
However, complete respite from truck traffic is some years away, as the eastern branch of the Expressway — passing through UP — still needs to cross bureaucratic hurdles.
Also known as Western Peripheral Expressway, KMP would be India’s longest access-controlled and signal-free expressway. Together with the Eastern Peripheral Expressway, it will form a third 270-km Ring Road around Delhi.
The 50-km Manesar-Palwal stretch of the 135-km KMP Expressway would be thrown open for commuters by November-end.
However, the complete stretch from Kundli (Sonepat) to Palwal would be ready only by next April/May, Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda told HT.
Explaining the failure to meet the project’s July 2009 deadline, Hooda said, “The delay has been primarily because of the procedural delays in clearance of the railway over bridges’ (ROBs) drawings and release of the finances by financial institutions to the concessionaire company, KMP Expressway Limited (KMPEL). Work on the project is on the fast track and the first phase of it would be ready by November-end.”
The 50-km stretch would connect National Highway 8 (NH 8) near Manesar in Gurgaon and NH 2 near Palwal. The Sohna-Bhiwari Highway (NH-71B) would also intersect this stretch through Tauro in Mewat, 35 km from Palwal.
“Since the 50-km stretch between Gurgaon and Palwal has no ROBs or interchanges that are going to take longer time, we would have this stretch ready by November-end,” said KMPEL chairman HS Kohli.
Taking its toll
However, the non-stop drive on this expressway would come with a steep price tag. Unlike Gurgaon Expressway, where motorists pay toll when they cross toll plazas, toll on the Expressway would be collected according to the distance travelled.
There would be three interchanges and 10 toll plazas on the entire 135-km long expressway.
The toll rates based on the wholesale price index have been decided.
Cars, vans and jeeps would be charged 75 paise per km, light commercial vehicles Rs 1.25 per km, trucks and buses Rs 2.60 per km and multi- axle vehicles Rs 4.15 per km.