After being stuck for the past 7 years, the powerful National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) has finally taken over the Dwarka Expressway project, a move that finally promises to kick-start work on the project.
Delays So Far
The Rs 3,000-crore road project – a joint undertaking by the Haryana and Delhi governments – was conceived in 2007 to divert 40% of the traffic from NH-8 within the Gurgaon-Delhi segment. A total of 27.9 Kilometers in length, 9.9 Kilometers of the expressway falls on the Delhi side while the remaining 18 Kilometers falls on the Gurgaon side.
Its completion has been hampered by the Delhi government’s inability to acquire 15 acres of land or 4.4 Kilometers on the Delhi side. On the Haryana side, the government has acquired the land but failed to relocate 348 families living alongside a 1.8 Kilometer stretch, this in spite of a court order issued nearly a year ago. The people living here lay the blame on the government for not living up to its promises.
“I have accepted the Court order. I have reconciled to the fact and I am ready to move out. But even 11 months after the court order the HUDA administration is yet to give us the compensation.” claims M P Kotnala, a resident living here.
NHAI Cracks The Whip
With the NHAI stepping in, pressure is building on the Haryana government with the agency setting a year’s deadline to relocate these families and handover the land. The NHAI has also written to the Delhi government to appoint a Competent Authority for Land Acquisition (CALA) who will also decide on the compensation to be paid to the land owners.
In case either the Delhi or the Haryana governments fails to evacuate the land, the NHAI has stated that it will invoke various laws to remove obstructions and put the Dwarka Expressway back on track.
Relief For Homebuyers
That is good news for the nearly 100,000 families that have invested in over 60 large-scale housing projects along the Dwarka Expressway. The NHAI – armed with substantial powers and backed by the Land Acquisition Act – may finally be able to bulldoze through the land acquisition problems that have plagued the project so far, acquiring the much-needed land in public interest. And once that is done, progress on constructing the expressway is expected to be swift.
“Once we get the land from Haryana and Delhi governments, which we should in the next 6 months to one year, we should be able to complete the project in 3 years. Work on detailed project report is already underway.” Says Ashok Sharma, GM & Project Director, NHAI
Reporter : Oineetom Ojha
Web Editor : Nikhil Narayan Sivadas