The wait to widen NH-24 seems to be never-ending. Innumerable meetings between various authorities have taken place, countless proposals and estimates have been drawn and sent to the Union ministry of road transport and highways time and again, but nothing has moved forward.
Different Uttar Pradesh chief ministers have written a number of letters to the Centre, asking them to approve the widening project. BJP president and Ghaziabad MP Rajnath Singh, who has a residence in Raj Nagar area, also raised the issue in Parliament, but to no avail.
The latest round of discussion took place on July 1, when it was decided the authorities would construct five more underpasses on the highway, apart from the already sanctioned five ones. The decision is the latest move to make commuting on this stretch signal-free.
“In the next six months, work on 10 underpasses will start. We are expecting new proposals for underpasses and the new estimated cost will be approved by the ministry within the next one-and-half-months. There won’t be any hurdles in its widening now,” said a PWD engineer.
Vice-chairman of Ghaziabad Development Authority (GDA) Santosh Yadav said the work on widening the highway from the four lanes to a six-lane one will start in the next six months. “Work on the 10 underpasses will also begin in the same time frame. All these works will be completed in two years,” Yadav added.
Residents say they had heard such promises before and rue the fact that nothing has moved forward. “Many highways emanating from Delhi have been widened, then what is the problem in this case? Commuters are suffering every day,” said Col Tejender Tyagi of Ghaziabad RWA federation.
NH-24 is the lifeline of trans-Hindon areas of Indirapuram, Vasundhara, Vaishali and other colonies as it connects them to the national capital and Noida, where many of the residents work. But endless traffic jams on the highway have made commuting a living hell.