Perturbed over the slow pace of construction and mounting costs, the Delhi government has asked the Supreme Court to issue directives for completion of the Eastern and Western Peripheral Expressway in a time-bound manner and to declare them national highways.
The two expressways, running through Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, aim to decongest Delhi roads, but are running years behind schedule.
The two expressways — each about 135 km long — were planned in 2006 following a Supreme Court order to form a ring road outside Delhi for channelling non-Delhi bound traffic bypassing the national capital.
While the Eastern Peripheral Expressway envisages to provide signal-free connectivity between Ghaziabad, Faridabad, Gautam Budh Nagar (Greater Noida) and Palwal, the Western Expressway connects Kundli to Palwal via Manesar in Haryana.
Moving a plea in the Supreme Court, the Delhi government has highlighted the cost overrun due to the delay in construction and acquisition of land by the other state governments.
The Delhi government was asked to bear 50 per cent cost of the Rs 844-crore project. But the total project cost has now been revised to Rs 3,589.56 crore.
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Requesting the court to fix a cut-off date up to which it had to bear the land acquisition price, the plea stated that it had so far paid Rs 653.5 crore with “no envisaged benefits so far.”
“Having given its commitment to the project almost 10 years ago, Delhi is bearing the brunt of both continued movement of transit traffic, its hazards and resultant pollution as well as the repeated demands for release of additional funds for the expressways. The Western Peripheral Expressway is about 68 per cent complete and Eastern Peripheral Expressway is yet to take off,” it stated.
The Delhi government said the project was mainly to benefit Haryana and Uttar Pradesh as it would open up hinterlands for developing commercial areas and townships along the expressways, besides, generating revenue. The only positive impact for Delhi would be clean air and traffic decongestion.
It has requested the court to intervene and pass directives to protect the interest of Delhi.