• 195-km super expressway to link Delhi, Jaipur

    The land acquisition process has started for a new ‘super expressway’ the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) is building between Delhi and Jaipur that will reduce the distance between the two cities by around 40 km.

    The new speedway will, however, not originate in Delhi. It will branch out from the Delhi-Gurgaon expressway near the Kherki Daula toll plaza in Gurgaon and pass through seven districts before terminating at the Rajasthan capital. Its total length will be 195 km, as opposed to around 235km that one needs to travel to get to Jaipur from the same point, with a main carriageway of six lanes (three on each side). The road, officials said, will be fully access-controlled.

    It is, however, unlikely to bring the commuting time between Gurgaon and Jaipur down to 90 minutes, as Union road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari had recently said while speaking of this ‘super expressway’ but will still cut by half or more the total commuting time to the Pink City. Officials said the ‘super expressway’ would make the Gurgaon-Jaipur journey possible in 120 minutes, which will be a feat no less remarkable, since at present, the journey takes anywhere between four and five hours, or even more if there is heavy traffic.

    The earlier plan was for a 226 km greenfield expressway starting near the Indira Gandhi International airport and terminating at Daulatpura in Jaipur. But the route was modified because of the cost factor. The expressway will now terminate at Chandwaji in Jaipur district. The new alignment has brought down its land requirement from 2,800 hectares to 1755.90 hectares.

    According to documents submitted by the Union environment ministry’s expert appraisal committee (EAC) for infrastructure projects, the ‘super expressway’ is expected to cost of Rs 6,530 crore to build. Its rehabilitation and resettlement cost is also a sizable Rs 5,000 crore as most of the land that needs to be acquired for the project is privately owned.

    “Land has been identified and the acquisition process has been initiated. There are two sections of the project in Haryana and Rajasthan. The acquisition process has started on the Haryana side,” said Ashok Sharma, project director, NHAI.

    The ‘super expressway’ will pass through 423 villages in seven districts — Gurgaon, Jhajjar, Rewari, Mahendergarh, Alwar, Sikar and Jaipur. Out of the 1755 hectares that need to be acquired, 360.65 hectares is government land, 1.22 hectares is part of a reserve forest area and 38 hectares are ‘protected forest’ land in Haryana and Rajasthan.

    Land will be acquired by NHAI. “The land use will be changed to Highway construction from agriculture, forest and settlement. There is no densely populated area along the proposed expressway. It is purely a virgin alignment and connectivity to built-up areas will be provided by underpasses and exit AND entry ramps,” mentions the feasibility report of the project.  Ed Dickson Jersey

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