PM Narendra Modi to review expansion plan for NH-24
(This story originally appeared in on Oct 25, 2016)
NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to take stock of the expansion work of NH-24 on Wednesday in his monthly Pragati meeting.
The project has been moving at snail’s pace 10 months after Modi laid the foundation stone for this project due to several hurdles including encroachments and two bridges over the Yamuna which await the green tribunal’s nod.
Till now one package of the project stretch–Delhi border to Dasna–has not been awarded and NHAI is waiting for environment clearance for expanding this section as well.
Government had hoped to show some visible progress by the time Uttar Pradesh goes for polls. In the past, the UPA government too had failed to widen the highway in 10 years of its rule.
Sources said the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has referred the case of building two parallel bridges along the existing ones on Yamuna to its expert committee. “The case is scheduled to come up for hearing on November 15. We are hopeful of a favourable order as we are taking enough measures to protect the flow of river,“ said an NHAI official.
A 2014 NGT order restricts any construction on Yamuna floodplains without its approval.
The official added the work for widening of Delhi border to Dasna section would be awarded within a week. NHAI has received four bids after re-floating tenders.
During the review meeting, highway ministry is likely to submit the need to expedite environment clearance and getting nearly 34 hectares from Delhi Development Authority , which NHAI can hand over to Delhi forest department for compensatory afforestation.
“We also expect removal of encroachments and rehabilitation of 500-odd slums in Delhi will be expedited for which we are ready to pay the compensation,“ said an NHAI official.
In the case of Dasna to Hapur section, which has already been awarded, NHAI is waiting for forest clearance from Uttar Pradesh government.There is no other hindrance to carry out expansion work of this portion.
To beat the traffic nightmare on one of the most congested highways, NHAI has rolled out a project to widen NH-24 by expanding the Nizamuddin to Dasna stretch to 14 lanes and Dasna to Hapur to six lanes.