Delhi and Meerut will be connected by a new expressway in the next few years. The project is a part of the sixth National Highway Development Programme (NHDP) that includes the construction of 1000-kilometre-long expressways at a cost of Rs 16,680 crore.
The government has already given the go-ahead to the project.
According to NHAI officials, the expressway will be a new link between the two cities. “It will be a new road altogether. We are not converting the existing National Highway 58 into an expressway,” said a NHAI official. “All expressway projects covered under the sixth NHDP, in fact, will be totally new roads,” the official added.
Work on the Delhi-Meerut expressway will be carried along with three other major expressways linking Chennai and Bangalore, Vadodara and Mumbai and Dhanbad and Kolkata.
NHAI officials said they were yet to finalise the route for the new road. Though the expressway is of immense importance, officials said they had not been able to decide its exact alignment.
“We are hiring an agency to study the route and various towns and villages falling between Delhi and Meerut. The agency will suggest us the possible alignments for the expressway," said an official.
Once the agency files its report on the possible alignment, a feasibility study will be carried out to find out the most possible and beneficial route. NHAI officials said they had already invited bids from competent agenciesto carry out the alignment study.
NHAI officials said the project would take a few years to complete.
“There will be a lot of issues involved in the project. Since the expressway will come up along a new alignment, we will have to see where we have the land available, where various other projects are coming up, whether land acquisition will be possible along that stretch etc," said an official.
The deadline for the sixth NHDP is 2015.