Bridg­ing the gap

Most high­ways serv­ing as nodes to Delhi-NCR need to be widened to im­prove con­nec­tiv­ity, but con­trac­tors are un­will­ing to bid for them

HT Estates - - FRONT PAGE - Van­dana Ram­nani

Com­muters from Ghazi­abad to Delhi are re­quired to be masters of the art of driv­ing be­cause of the state of the roads. The nar­row fourlane Na­tional High­way (NH) 24 re­mains clogged with traf­fic, and like the NH8, has pot­holes, boul­ders and cranes (be­ing used for on­go­ing road re­pair work) mak­ing the stretch ex­tremely dan­ger­ous. Those hop­ing for a quick so­lu­tion to the prob­lem have a long wait ahead, if the re­cent non- re­sponse by con­trac­tors to a bid for a high­way project is any in­di­ca­tion.

When bids opened for seven high­way projects cov­er­ing 830 km and cost­ing ₹ 17,368 crore, as per a build-op­er­ate-trans­fer (BOT) model in this fi­nan­cial year (2014-15), no bid­ders turned up. The projects in­cluded the Delhi- Meerut Ex­press­way (NH24 and 58) and the East­ern Pe­riph­eral Ex­press­way. The real es­tate growth of the NCR has been along the fol­low­ing high­ways lead­ing out of Delhi:

NH1 - Kundli has be­come a ma­jor mi­cro-mar­ket with the Ed­u­ca­tion City and projects by An­sal, TDI near­ing com­ple­tion

NH 58 – Ma­jor de­vel­op­ment is con­cen­trated around Raj Na­gar

“Two of th­ese projects would be re­bid again on BOT and if no re­sponse is re­ceived, they would be taken up for ex­e­cu­tion un­der the en­gi­neer­ing, pro­cure­ment and con­struc­tion (EPC) mode. Other five projects are also be­ing taken up for ex­e­cu­tion un­der this mode – with ex­e­cu­tion pe­riod es­ti­mated to be three years,” says a se­nior of­fi­cial of the Na­tional High­ways Au­thor­ity of In­dia (NHAI), on con­di­tion of anonymity.

“The to­tal project cost of Delhi- Meerut Ex­press­way Ex­ten­sion and the area is ex­pected to de­velop as a sub­urb of Ghazi­abad

NH 24 – Wave City and Cross­ings Repub­lik hold po­ten­tial as in­te­grated de­vel­op­ments

NH 8 – Mane­sar, Bhi­wadi and Neem­rama have emerged as satel­lite de­vel­op­ments to Gur­gaon (NH24 and 58) is ₹ 6,600 crore and East­ern Pe­riph­eral Ex­press­way is ₹ 4,800 crore,” he says.

The award tar­get set by NHAI is 5,000 km this fis­cal, which in­cludes projects to be awarded via BOT and EPC. Since the mar­ket re­sponse to the BOT mode in the re­cent past has not been pos­i­tive, if the projects taken up on this mode do not elicit the re­quired re­sponse, they will be taken up on EPC, the of­fi­cial states.

BOT is an agree­ment be­tween a pri­vate company and a gov­ern­men­tal body. The agree­ment com­mits the pri­vate company to build and op­er­ate a fa­cil­ity such as a high­way for a pe­riod of time and then trans­fer the own­er­ship to the gov­ern­ment.

EPC is the ter m used to de­scribe con­tracts in which an en­gi­neer­ing company as­sumes full re­spon­si­bil­ity for a project — en­gi­neer­ing, ma­te­rial pro­cure­ment and con­struc­tion. The con­trac­tor then de­liv­ers a func­tion­ing fa­cil­ity or as­set to the client or the gov­ern­ment.

It has been pro­posed that the stretch from NH24 up to UP Gate will be widened to 14 lanes from the present four, and the road be­tween UP Gate and Dasna will be eight-laned. The next phase of the ex­press­way will be built on a new align­ment from Dasna to Meerut, a six-lane stretch join­ing the Meerut by­pass.

There are sev­eral af­ford­able projects lo­cated along the NH24.

ATS Greens Gau­tam Budh Na­gar Sec­tor 20

Sec­tor-25

Sec­tor-61 Sec­tor-62 Sec­tor-93

Sec­tor 82

Al­pha-I (Greater Noida)

11-14

SAKIB ALI

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