The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) on Wednesday granted in-principle approval for construction of Delhi-Panipat and Delhi-Alwar Regional Rapid Transit Systems (RRTS) projects worth ₹53,500 crore, a government official said.
The proposed corridors are expected to benefit the people of Delhi, Panipat, Samalkha, Gannaur, Riwari, and Sonepat and their adjoining townships and villages.
Sources in the Union ministry of urban development said the decision would significantly reduce construction time by over three years and also the cost substantially.
The 111-km Delhi-Sonipat-Panipat RRTS project is estimated to cost about ₹16,500 crore, while the 180 km Delhi-Rewari-Alwar line will cost about ₹37,000 crore.
“NHAI has in principle agreed to construction of these two projects along NH-1 and NH-8. NHAI also in-principle, agreed to take up the Urban Extension Road-2 which would help in easing traffic congestion in Delhi,” the official said.
A senior official in the urban development ministry said the approval was given in a meeting convened by secretary, housing and urban affairs on Wednesday. National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) chairman Deepak Kumar, Delhi Development Authority (DDA) vice-chairman Uday Pratap Singh, managing director of National Capital Regional Transport Corporation (NCRTC) VK Singh, along with other senior officials of the ministry were also present in the meeting.
“The decision would facilitate early completion of both projects since land acquisition would not be an issue (as it is already acquired by NHAI). The projects are likely to reduce load on the two National Highways,” said a source.
Sources said that since the corridors are either elevated or underground, its construction would not impact traffic movement on the highways or affect widening and expansion of the highways in the future.
NHAI and NCRTC would jointly prepare an action plan after examining the issues related to future expansion plans and possible congestion and the options to address them, the official said.
During the meeting, Kumar conveyed in-principle agreement about NHAI taking up execution of Urban Extension Road-2 project aimed at decongesting Delhi by connecting three national highways, the official said.
The RRTS — a brainchild of the National Capital Region Planning Board (NCRPB) — was first mooted in 2013 to de-congest the roads and bring down pollution in Delhi while ensuring high-speed connectivity between the Capital and its satellite towns Panipat in Haryana, Meerut in Uttar Pradesh and Alwar in Rajasthan.
“A feasibility report in this regard would be prepared within a month for further discussions. The ministry of housing and urban affairs and DDA are likely to share the cost. The road will connect NH-1, 8, and 10. A major portion of the road has already been completed by the DDA,” said an official.