Union highways ministry speeding Delhi-Jaipur expressway

The hours of longing for a smoother drive to Jaipur from Delhi are expected to be truncated. The Planning Commission and Union Ministry for Highways are in talks for speeding up the tender of constructing a new expressway connecting the capital to pink city Jaipur within a stretch of 261km to shed away extra load on the existing roads.

Earlier two express links were chalked out from Capital to Jaipur and Chandigarh by the Road Transport and Highway Minister C P Joshi, the highway for Jaipur seems to be top on the plan of action. A four to six lane road is expected to link the two states for a rough budget of Rs. 10,000 crore.

The connectivity as mentioned in the tender of this highway includes a connection of Manesar (Gurgaon) to Bawal (Jaipur). Alongside, Kurukshetra - Bhiwadi - Nimrana node is also under development stage to complete the Delhi - Mumbai industrial corridor and other national highway networks.

The suggestions at present are to start expressway construction from the outskirts of Delhi and closing it down on the Jaipur bypass, however, a final consensus is yet to happen. Another link from Kundli - Manesar - Palwal is also under planning as per the sources.

Highways Minister C P Joshi has assured the use of satellite images and digital terrain models instead of usual ground scouting and surveying to execute this alignment. "We have often heard how poor man's lands are acquired after altering the alignment to protect properties of the rich and influential people," Joshi had said.

Seemingly an unexpected move from the Planning Commission who up till now has been prolonging clearance in such matters, the masses look surprised when a meeting at Yojana Bhawan held this Wednesday having officials from PWD Rajasthan, National Highway Authority of India and Highways Ministry. Sources stated that NHAI will be suggesting the alignment of Jaipur Expressway on a priority basis.

The officials at meeting however expressed their concerns in terms of funding required to complete this project. "The project will come up for discussion during Joshi's meeting with the prime minister scheduled on May 19. The issue of land acquisition could also come up for discussion," said a senior NHAI official.

Sources said that the ministry is yet to work out a plan for the expressway between Delhi and Chandigarh though talks had started between the Centre and Haryana government.

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