Gadkari sets August 2022 deadline for Dwarka Expressway, shifting toll plaza
Union transport minister Nitin Gadkari during a visit to the city on Thursday set a deadline of August 15, 2022, for shifting the Kherki Daula toll plaza on the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway and making the Dwarka Expressway project operational. Gadkari made the announcement after completing an inspection of the Dwarka Expressway project, from Kherki Daula to Dwarka, along with Gurugram member of Parliament (MP) Rao Inderjit Singh and senior officials of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI).
“There have been a number of legal issues and complications related to land acquisition because of which shifting of Kherki Daula toll did not happen. But I announce it today that this toll plaza will be shifted by August 15 next year and it will be on same day when Dwarka Expressway becomes operational,” said Gadkari.
The union transport minister said that he has also revised the deadline for entire Dwarka Expressway project to next year. “The two phases in Haryana will be completed by this year-end and phases one and two in Delhi would be completed by August 15,” he said, adding that the NHAI had earlier anticipated to finish the project by December 2022.
Gadkari also said that the Dwarka Expressway will play an important role in reducing pollution in Delhi and NCR as well as decongest the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway. “The biggest positive would be the decongestion of Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway which has daily traffic of 3 lakh (300,000) PCUs (passenger car units). When this road is completed, this area will get developed like Singapore and Dubai,” he said.
Shifting of the toll plaza has been a longstanding demand of daily commuters to Manesar, who work in the industrial sector, and residents of the developing sectors.
Earlier on February 13, chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar promised to shift the toll within six months as land required for the same was set to be transferred to NHAI. The proposal to shift the toll was mooted in late 2018, when the government and NHAI agreed to shift it to Sehrawan near Manesar but was hindered by legal issues. The plan to shift the toll to Panchgaon at present has also remained stuck due to land acquisition issues.
The 29-kilometre-long Dwarka Expressway is designed as an eight-lane grade-separated road, with a provision for three-lane service roads on both sides. Dwarka Expressway will have four multi-level interchanges and crossroad underpasses at major junctions.
Prakhar Sahay, who owns a flat along the Dwarka Expressway, said that once the Gurugram portion of the Dwarka Expressway becomes functional, the toll plaza will lose relevance. “This is going to happen by December 2021, although the toll may officially shift next year,” said Sahay.
Gurgaon MP and union minister of state, Rao Inderjit Singh, said that early completion of Dwarka Expressway and shifting of Kherki Daula toll would give a great impetus to economic growth of the city. “We have been pursuing the shifting of the toll plaza and early completion of several road projects, particularly the Dwarka Expressway. We are thankful to the union minister for bringing forward the deadlines,” said Singh.
Earlier in the morning, Gadkari, Singh and senior NHAI officials, along with mediapersons, boarded a bus at Central Peripheral Road near Kherki Daula toll plaza and took stock of the progress of the expressway. Officials apprised him that 50% construction work of the expressway has been completed.
Of the 29 kilometres of the expressway, 18.9 kilometres is in Haryana while the remaining 10.1 kilometres are in Delhi. Also, 23 kilometres of the entire project would be elevated.
Dwelling on the key technical features of the Dwarka expressway, Manoj Kumar, member (project), NHAI, said that once completed, the road project will facilitate safe and seamless travel to travellers moving between Jaipur, Gurugram, Delhi and adjoining areas. “This road will reduce the load on NH8 and reduce both congestion and pollution,” said Kumar.