Almost a year has gone since Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of the Delhi-Meerut Expressway in December last year. However, much to the chagrin of the Prime Minister, who is pushing for infrastructure development — including roads and highways—the ambitious National Highway-24 (NH-24) expansion project is yet to take off.

    After the Prime Minister reportedly pulled up authorities for not doing proper groundwork and getting him to lay the foundation stone for the project, a high-level meeting was held which identified eight major bottlenecks for 14-laining of NH-24 to kick off.

    According to the agencies, encroachment by slums, residential building, including Deputy Chief Minister’s office; clearance for construction of bridge over Yamuna at Nizamuddin; permission for cutting of 3,261 trees; shifting of utilities of DJB, BSES and Delhi Transco; and shifting of religious structure are the major hurdles to the project.

    A document pertaining to the project accessed by The Pioneer reveals that there are several private residential buildings on right of way (ROW) while several similar structures are inside ROW of the National Highway 24. Besides, Nehru Camp Juggis, Patparganj having 1,500 dwelling unit exist within 90 metre on ROW of NH-24.

    The Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board has been directed to submit proposal for rehabilitation of the jhuggi dwellers within two weeks.

    The document also said Joint Inspection is yet to be done to ascertain the extent of shifting L&T batch mixing plants at UP Link Road-NH 24 and NH 24-Ring Road for Barapullah elevated corridor casting yard.

    Several nurseries of the municipal corporations, which fall outside the ROW, are expected to be shifted in four weeks.

    On dismantling the Deputy Chief Minister’s office also falls under ROW of NH, the PWD chief engineer has reportedly assured that these structures would be cleared within next four weeks.

    For the construction of a bridge over the Yamuna River at Nizamuddin as a part of the Delhi Meerut Expressway, the concerned agencies have yet to give clearance as the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) has not given clearance for land for the bridge project. The DDA has said that the matter was under consideration and has requested for a joint inspection. The representatives of PWD present in the meeting also informed that part of the land required by NH is on lease with PWD for casting yard.

    The NHAI which is implementing the project has requested the Delhi Government’s forest department to give permission to cut 3,261 trees in the Delhi area on NH 24. Russell Wilson Jersey

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