Dwarka Eway has been declared as National Highway in June 2017
After being stuck for the past seven years, the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) has finally taken over the Dwarka Expressway project. Deepak Kumar recently took charge as Chairman, NHAI. Prior to joining NHAI, he worked as Director General, Employees’ State Insurance Corporation under the Ministry of Labour. Namrata Kohli speaks to Deepak Kumar about the Dwarka expressway. Edited excerpts:
After taking charge, what are the pet projects that you want to put on the fast track and finish at the earliest?
We are creating a framework for removing bottlenecks in implementation of the projects i.e. land acquisition process and statutory clearances. For each project, now target is being set up for every stage of acquisition of land, shifting of utilities and forest clearance. We have put the process of installation of ETC (Electronic Toll Collection) on toll plazas, wayside amenities on fast tracks. In July 2017, we have also taken up the drive across the country under Swachh Bharat for cleanliness and plantation of trees. We are trying to bring in more people with diverse knowledge background in the organization for capacity building.
The fact that the NHAI has finally taken over the Dwarka Expressway project that started in 2007 brings a ray of hope for those families that have invested in over 60 largescale housing projects along the Dwarka Expressway. What can you assure the investors and buyers who have invested time and money in Dwarka eway?
Dwarka Expressway has been declared as National Highway by the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways in June 2017. We are in the process of finalising the DPR (detailed project report) for developing this road as an 8lane expressway with the provisions of 6-lane service roads.
Where is the real problem in making this Eway operational?
The process of land acquisition at Delhi/Haryana border is likely to get completed in the next three months. Besides this, additional land is to be acquired for construction of interchange near Shiv Murti junction on NH-8, the process of which is expected to begin in September 2017. A part project in the initial section from Shiv Murti on NH-8 to railway line along Dwarka Link road is held up as clearance from Airport authorities is required for proposed elevated road. NHAI is in continuous discussions with the ministry of Civil Aviation and a team of experts have been engaged by the ministry to resolve this issue and it is likely to get resolved in the next 4-6 weeks. Construction of Dwarka Expressway would be taken up in four packages and the process of bidding is likely to start in September 2017. The work on the ground is likely to start by January 2018.
Once you get the land from Haryana and Delhi governments, how long will it take to complete the project?
The timeline for construction of project of this magnitude is around 30 months.
Experts say that the mistakes in planning the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway should not be repeated while designing the Dwarka Expressway. What is your opinion?
In planning the Dwarka Expressway, learnings of Delhi-Gurgaon section on NH-8 are being used to make it a fully access controlled facility with major interchanges at the starting point i.e. at Shiv Murti and at junction with SPR near Kherki Daula on NH-8.
Further for all existing cross roads, grade separation is being done and all major intersections would be 3 level for ensuring free movement of traffic at all arms. To ensure seamless movement of traffic, a major portion of Dwarka Expressway is planned as an elevated road. NHAI has also proposed to provide Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) on this highway for traffic management, safety and tolling. NHAI has also proposed to construct a tunnel from Dwarka side for direct access to the airport.