Blocked highway sections at Singhu, Ghaziabad may reopen in Jan: NHAI

Officials said inspection on both the stretches of NH-24, NH-9 аnd NH-44 will be conducted after December 15 – the time by which the farmers’ unions have said both sites will be cleared.
New Delhi, Dec 12 (ANI): Barricades being removed from Singhu Border after farmers start leaving the protest site following the Samyukta Kisan Morcha announcement to end their year-long protest against the three farm laws and other issues, in New Delhi on Sunday. (ANI Photo) (Ishant Kumar)
New Delhi, Dec 12 (ANI): Barricades being removed from Singhu Border after farmers start leaving the protest site following the Samyukta Kisan Morcha announcement to end their year-long protest against the three farm laws and other issues, in New Delhi on Sunday. (ANI Photo) (Ishant Kumar)
Published on Dec 13, 2021 12:15 AM IST
Copy Link
By, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

The portions of Delhi-Meerut Expressway (NH9 аnd NH24) at the Delhi-Ghaziabad border and National Highway 44 at Singhu border that were shut for over a year due to the farmer’s protest will be opened for public from next month (January 2022), senior officials of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) said on Sunday.

Officials said inspection on both the stretches of NH-24, NH-9 аnd NH-44 will be conducted after December 15 – the time by which the farmers’ unions have said both sites will be cleared. It would take at least two weeks from then to complete all the repair works, they added.

“We will start work once the farmers have fully retreated from sites. They (farmers) have said they will clear their temporary structures by this week. Immediately after the sites are cleared, our teams will conduct an inspection to assess the damage. After that repair and other maintenance works will be undertaken. People will definitely get to use those stretches of the highways from the New Year,” said one senior NHAI official asking not to be named.

After over an year of agitation against the three farm laws enacted by the Union government in September last year, thousands of farmers who were camping on the borders of Delhi have started wrapping up the makeshift structures they called home away from their villages after Parliament scrapped the laws on November 29. The three contentious laws deregulated farm trade.

A second senior NHAI official, who also asked to remain anonymous and handles both the highways, said a lot will also depend on the ongoing ban on construction activities in view of the hazardous levels of air pollution in Delhi. In case the permissions are not granted, opening of the stretches could be delayed further, he added.

“We would open it quickly once the inspection is done. It may take about two weeks, subject to the permission of work being granted to us as currently there’s a construction ban in the city as part of anti-pollution measures,” the second official said.

In their preliminary assessment, teams of NHAI found that the structural safety of the elevated portion of NH-24 may have been affected as minor cracks were identified at some portions. “Usually, we have dedicated teams for regular highway maintenance. But, no such routine activity has happened on highways along Ghazipur аnd Singhu for more than a year now because of the farmers’ protest. Our latest preliminary report suggests repair works will be needed,” the official said.

Dependra Pathak, special commissioner of police (law and order, north zone), said the Delhi Traffic Police has started removing barricades and blockades from all the points that were used for the protests. “We have started the process of removing the barricades and blockades that were placed on the Delhi side. Agencies such as NHAI have also been informed about it. Opening of the borders for traffic will be done as early as possible,” he said.

“At many places, roads were dug and filled with concrete to install iron spikes. The farmers built concrete structures on the roads, and at several places holes were dug in the roads to erect iron pipes to set up tents. All these issues need to be addressed by the agencies concerned,” said a senior police officer who asked not to be named.

The Ghaziabad-Delhi carriageway of the Meerut Expressway has been shut since December 3 last year when farmers erected the dais at the site, hampering the movement of thousands of vehicles. The protest also resulted in the closure of the Ghaziabad-Delhi carriageway of the Hindon elevated road which ends at UP-Gate. As a result, people are having to spend an additional 40-50 minutes on the road to reach their destinations.

“Either we take a 3-km detour from Anand Vihar while moving from UP to Delhi, or go through a narrow road passing through Ghazipur poultry market and Khoda Colony. A checkpoint at Khoda adds 30 minutes to one hour during peak traffic hours,” said Ankita Kumar, who has to commute for work to Central Delhi.

Up north, with the city’s main exit towards Punjab blocked at the Singhu border for over a year, commuters were taking a detour through the colony roads on either side of the main highway. These included narrow single-lane roads that took commuters around the Guru Tegh Bahadur memorial, while similar routes on the other side of the road through Narela were opening up directly in Sonipat. These detours were largely causing a delay of around 45-60 minutes, depending on the traffic volume, several commuters said.

The first NHAI official cited above said repair works at the NH-9 and NH-24 (Ghazipur protest site) is likely to take longer than NH-44 (Singhu border).

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Sweta Goswami writes on urban development, transport, energy and social welfare in Delhi. She prefers to be called a storyteller and has given voice to several human interest stories. She is currently cutting her teeth on multimedia storytelling.

Close Story
QUICKREADS

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • The state had banned plastic carry bags in April 2016, but they are still being used in every nook and corner of the city. (Harvinder Singh/HT)

    Ludhiana: Industry up in arms over government’s decision to ban single-use plastic from July 1

    Plastic manufacturers and traders in the city have objected to the government's decision to impose a complete ban on single-use plastic items from July 1. Ruing financial losses incurred by the industry in the past, Punjab Plastic Manufacturers and Traders Association president Gurdeep Singh Batra said that if the state government intends to follow the Union government's directions, it should also allow plastic carry bags with width of 75 micron or more.

  • The highest 24-hour rainfall in the last decade was reported at 73.1 mm in 2016 whereas the lowest was 5.2 mm in 2014. This year on June 11, Pune reported maximum rainfall of 25.6 mm in 24 hours. (HT PHOTO)

    Pune city reports second-most rain-deficient June in last 10 years

    With 25 days of June almost over, Pune city reported its second-most rainfall-deficient month in the last decade. The city has reported just 33.7 mm rainfall. According to the India Meteorological Department, there is a rainfall deficiency of 89.6 mm. According to the met department, Pune district is showing a rainfall deficit of 73 per cent between June 1 and June 25. The least June rainfall of the decade was 13.8 mm in 2014.

  • Lakhimpur Kheri basic education department office. (HT photo)

    U.P.: Lakhimpur Kheri basic teachers to get GPF statements first time in decades!

    For the first time in their decades' long service, Lakhimpur Kheri's basic school teachers, who are covered under the General Provident Fund (Uttar Pradesh) Rules, 1985, would receive their annual statement of GPF accounts by June next year. A teacher Rama Shankar Katiyar who retired on March 31, 2017 and was paid 14, 02, 215 as GPF disagreed with the final payment and urged for recalculation but his appeal was ignored. Another teacher Ram Chandra retired on March 31, 2018 and got his GPF payment.

  • The 31-year-old man who was arrested with 2-kg heroin two days ago in STF custody. (HT Photo)

    Ludhiana: Illegal weapon, bullets recovered from arrested drug peddler’s house

    Two days after a 31-year-old man was arrested with 2.05 kg heroin, police recovered an illegal weapon and six bullets from hAkash'shouse. The Special Task Force had also recovered 14 vehicles, including eight cars, and 8 lakh from the possession of the accused identified as Akash Chopra, a resident of Gurmel Park, Tibba Road. The STF also found that his wife, Alisha Chopra alias Pooja Chopra, used to help him in drug peddling.

  • Rihand dam to be maintained under new safety guidelines, strengthened

    Rihand dam to be maintained under new safety guidelines, strengthened

    India's most voluminous Rihand dam that cools a number of coal-fired power plants in the Sonbhadra region of Uttar Pradesh will now be maintained as per the Centre's new safety guidelines under the World Bank-funded Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP Phase II). The decision in this regard was taken in a meeting chaired by chief secretary Durga Shankar Mishra here on Friday.

SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Saturday, June 25, 2022