Left neglected for two years and delayed by six years, the Palwal-Manesar stretch of the Kundli-Manesar-Palwal (KMP) Expressway was opened Tuesday amidst promises to open the remaining stretch soon.
The 53-km stretch – spanning Sonepat, Jhajjar, Gurgaon, Mewat and Palwal districts – was inaugurated by Union Minister Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari and Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar.
Work on the project began in 2006. A concession agreement was signed with KMP Expressway Ltd to develop the project on Build Operate Transfer (BOT) basis. As per the original schedule, the expressway was to be ready by July 29, 2009 but was delayed.
Experts said the completion of this project would not only provide a high-speed link to northern Haryana with its southern districts, such as Gurgaon, Faridabad and Palwal, but also decongest the National Capital Territory (NCT) of Delhi. Traffic from the northern parts of the country destined to other regions no longer have to pass through Delhi.
Though the stretch has been opened for traffic from Tuesday, no toll is being charged as of now. Gadkari announced that the remaining portion of the expressway, connecting Manesar with Kundli, will be constructed with cement-concrete. A proposal in this regard will be sent to the Haryana government Wednesday. “The CC construction will not need maintenance for the next 50 years. The drive will also be smooth and hassle-free,” said Gadkari.
He added that the Eastern and Western bypass around Delhi would not only bring down pollution levels by at least 50 per cent and decrease the load of vehicular traffic, but also bring development in the region.
According to officials, the expressway will be six-lane and not a four-lane one as planned earlier.
The total length of the expressway is 135.6 km. The stretch between Palwal and Manesar has been completed at a cost of Rs 457.81 crore in a record time of 11 months.
Officials said NH-2 (Delhi-Agra) has been connected with NH-8 ( Delhi-Jaipur), facilitating vehicles to go from NH-2 to NH- 8 without entering Delhi. The stretch also has four tolls.