Exactly three months ago, a direct and smooth link between Mahipalpur and Indira Gandhi International Airport’s (IGIA) Terminal 3 was expected to be opened for passengers.
While the new road is now near completion after many delays, the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway authorities are against it.
The private airport operator Delhi International Airport Ltd. (DIAL) had promised two new link roads to Terminal 3 — the Northern Access Road from Dwarka roundabout and the Mahipalpur link road. Both these links merge with the central spine (airport road) leading to Terminal 3 and were expected to open on November 14, 2010.
The Northern Access Road is now operational after facing some hiccups but the less-than-one-km-long link road from Mahipalpur junction at NH-8 to the central spine is yet to see the light of day.
Nearly 2 lakh vehicles use NH-8 to reach Gurgaon every day and this traffic merges with the airport-bound traffic. The Mahipalpur link road will ease the traffic flow and help in de-congesting NH-8, apart from supporting entry and exit from the Northern Access Road. This link road will also provide entry and exit to the ‘Aerocity’ metro station.
A DIAL spokesman said that the road is being delayed as formal approvals have not come from the concerned authorities. The real story, however, is slightly different.
“The authorities managing the Delhi-Gurgaon expressway are opposed to this road as it will bypass the toll plaza at IGI airport,” said an airport official who didn’t wish to be identified.
“The construction of the road from Mahipalpur to the international airport will make the entire infrastructure we have set up at the IGI Toll Plaza redundant,” said a Delhi-Gurgaon Super Connectivity Ltd. spokesperson.
“There is enough surplus capacity at the IGI ramp infrastructure and the toll plaza to take care of all the traffic to the airport,” he said.
“The proposed road would allow bypass of the Toll Plaza which is a breach of our concessionaire agreement and lead to large contractual claims which have already been quantified,” the spokesperson said. “The proposed road would be a duplication of the infrastructure already present and lead to the waste of valuable national resources.”