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Ghaziabad: NH 24 widening to be completed till Dasna by May 2019, a year ahead of schedule

Delhi-Meerut Expressway, Phase II: One of the prime reasons for expediting the project and completing it in 18 months against the scheduled 30-month period is the ‘bonus’ clause in the agreement.

noida Updated: Nov 16, 2017 17:48 IST
Peeyush Khandelwal
Peeyush Khandelwal
Hindustan Times
Noida,Ghaziabad,Delhi
As the first phase of the project, from Delhi’s Akshardham to UP Gate, is likely to be completed in the next two months, all eyes are now on the second phase of the project, which is considered the most crucial part.(Virendra Singh Gosain/HT Photo)

The second phase of the Delhi-Meerut Expressway (DME) project, from UP Gate to Dasna, is likely to be completed by May 2019, a year ahead of the originally scheduled deadline of May 2020.

As the first phase of the project, from Delhi’s Akshardham to UP Gate, is likely to be completed in the next two months, all eyes are now on the second phase of the project, which is considered the most crucial part.

The first phase of the 14-lane highway is going to be completed in a record time of 14 months and ahead of schedule, as it was earlier expected to take 30 months for completion. The 8.71-km long stretch of the highway under the first phase is likely to be completed in January 2018, 14 months before its scheduled date of completion in May 2019.

According to National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), the scheduled completion date of the 19.28 km long stretch from UP Gate to Dasna under the second phase is May 2020, but they said there are several factors that indicate that the project can be completed by May 2019. The construction work was started on November 6.

One of the prime reasons for expediting the project and completing it in 18 months against the scheduled 30-month period is the ‘bonus’ clause in the agreement.

“The ‘bonus’ is 0.3% of the total project cost (Rs1,989 crore) and will be payable on completion of the project before the deadline. To expedite the project, the additional manpower of nearly 500 personnel will be used in addition to the average of nearly 1,000-1,100 persons employed per day. More resources will be pooled in and use of precast technology will be made for erecting structures,” said RP Singh, project director, NHAI.

However, the major issues that could hamper the likely completion before time are related to shifting major electrical distribution lines, transmission lines and more importantly, the 13km of the Ganga water pipeline that supplies water from the Upper Ganga Canal to the treatment plants at Pratap Vihar.

“Shifting the water pipelines will be a major challenge in the second phase of the project. On one side, there is a 3-kilometre stretch of the water pipeline which will have to be shifted as it will fall under the carriageway. We have received the estimate from UP agencies and NHAI will shift these lines,” Singh said.

“One part on the other side of the pipeline will be laid new for the entire 13-km stretch. We are still awaiting the estimate for work on the stretch and are pursuing the state agencies to hand it over to us at the earliest,” he said.

The deliberation between UP agencies and the NHAI for shifting of the pipelines is going on since 2015 but is yet to be completely finalised.

Shifting of Ganga water pipelines is crucial as treated water from the Pratap Vihar plants is supplied to a large population in Noida and trans-Hindon areas of Ghaziabad.

According to NHAI, shifting or laying of new pipelines will cost nearly Rs194 crore. Two sides of the Ganga water pipelines run parallel to the NH-24, which is only four lanes and faces perennial traffic congestion.

To ease congestion, the NHAI has planned three lanes on each side of the signal-free expressway and four additional lanes on each side of the highway under the second phase of the DME project.

“We estimate that we will be able to complete the second phase of the project by May 2019 as it is a priority due to heavy traffic pressure on the existing stretch of the NH-24,” Singh said.

First Published: Nov 15, 2017 22:51 IST