NHAI may not bite state govt bait on underpass project
There seems no end to the hurdles for the proposed Hero Honda underpass project and persistent traffic jams at this junction on the Gurgaon Expressway (NH-8). Sanjeev K Ahuja reports.india Updated: Jan 14, 2012 00:04 IST
There seems no end to the hurdles for the proposed Hero Honda underpass project and persistent traffic jams at this junction on the Gurgaon Expressway (NH-8).
This is because the stakeholders of the project — Haryana government and National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) — have failed to iron out their differences over sharing of the construction costs. Of late, in a clever move to bring around NHAI, the state government had agreed to bear 67% of the total cost but put a rider that the former should purchase the land required for the project from the state government.
The government made this ‘climb down’ in a high-power committee meeting chaired by chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda in Chandigarh on Tuesday.
The project requires about 10 acres of land. Going by the market value, the land costs about Rs 100 crore.
“We have decided to ask the NHAI to bear the cost of the land as well as the expenditure involved in the shifting of utilities such as underground sewerage and water pipelines, besides other infrastructure at the Hero Honda crossing. The matter will be deliberated upon by the ministry of road transport and highways soon,” DPS Nangal, chief administrator, Haryana Urban Development Authority (Huda) told HT from Chandigarh .
By no stretch of imagination can NHAI accept this condition. According to NHAI officials, this condition would further delay the project as R100 crore was the total cost estimated for the project.
“As the cost of the land is huge, we need to discuss the issue with higher authorities in NHAI as well as the ministry,” said an NHAI official not wishing to be named.
It has been three years that the NHAI approved the design of the 1.4-km-long underpass at the congested Hero Honda crossing on the Gurgaon expressway.
Initially, the state government had objected to paying 67% of the total project expense on the ground that any addition in the infrastructure on national highways was the responsibility of the NHAI.