• NHAI yet to set fresh deadline as investors sweat over NPR fate

    In April 2011, construction for the much hyped Northern Peripheral Road (NPR) road project started and it was supposed to completed in a year, by March, 2012. However, it has missed several deadlines since and in April 2017, the project will have completed seven long years since being commissioned by the Huda (Haryana urban development authority).

    Now, with the project having changed hands and the NHAI (National Highways Authority of India) being assigned the task of taking it forward, there’s new hopes of it finally coming to fruition. While the Huda failed to get it off the ground, all eyes are now on the NHAI to bring the project to fruition. However, the NHAI is yet to set a fresh deadline for the project.

    “The NHAI has taken over the project. While the entire expressway will span 27 km, the Gurgaon stretch will cover 18 km. The enitire stretch is proposed to be open to commuters at once. We will soon set a fresh deadline for the project,” AK Sharma, project director, NHAI, said, adding that the all issues regarding land acquisition and rehabilitation of displaced people have to be resolved by the Huda at the earliest.

    Of the 18 km Gurgaon stretch of the Dwarka Expressway project, the bituminous work over 15 km is complete and the remaining 3 km covering the New Palam Vihar and Kherki Daula stretch is still ongoing.

    For the investors who have pumped crores into the project, the six-year wait for the project to see the light of day could be prolonged for another two years or more.

    “The Northern Peripheral Road (NPR) or Dwarka Expressway project could have been completed long back had the Huda and successive Haryana government taken it forward on a priority basis,” a developer associated with the project said, adding that even after the NPR is ready to be thrown open to the commuting public, it could take another few years for the required infrastructure to be put in place.

    The oustees, who weren’t considered for rehabilitation by the Huda, has set their hopes of relief on the Punjab and Haryana High Court. Responding to an earlier petition, the high court had directed the Huda to consider all oustees, including the general power of attorney and special power of attorney holders, for rehabilitation. However, the oustees who were left out of the plot draw, later moved a fresh plea against the Huda claiming it violated the court’s directive.

    “The delay has caused irreparable loss to investors. However, we still have hope that the project will be a reality some day. I believe more than 100 residential and commercial projects have been delayed due to litigations regarding the NPR project,” Captain Sameer Singh, an investor, said.

    None of the displaced 600 families have got alternative plots as yet.

    “I filed a contempt petition against the Huda for not considering be eligible for the rehabilitation package. They left me out as I am a GPA holder. The court will hear my petition on February 28,” Ram Babu Sharma, a plot owner at New Palam Vihar, said.

    According to plot owners, the majority of plots mired in litigation was sold by brokers on the general or special power of attorney (GPA-SPA) much before the Huda issued acquisition notices.

    “Gopal Subramanium, former Solicitor General of India who represented the Haryana government in 2010, had said that all petitioners shall be rehabilitated. However, despite the assurance, the Haryana government has continued to drag its feet on the issue,” Rajkumar, another plot owner, said.

    While many GPA-SPA holders built their houses, many plots by these holders continue to be vacant.

    “The government should resolve the issue at the earliest. The investors will be relieved and infrastructure will get a massive boost,”Navin Raheja, a member of the National Realty Development Council (NRDC), said.

    All eyes are now on a court hearing on a Huda plea on March 16.

    “While work on 15 km of the Gurgaon stretch is complete, the remaining stretch is caught up in litigation. We’re trying to resolve the rehabilitation issue,” Yashpal Yadav, the Huda administrator, said. DeAndre Hopkins Jersey

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