No state consent, NHAI goes ahead with four-laning of highway section
December 3, 2009
Without taking the state government on board, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has already decided to go ahead with the four-laning of the 80-km Muzaffarnagar-Hardwar section of the Delhi-Dehradun corridor.
The state government has not yet given its consent to the State Support Agreement for a 21-km stretch, which falls within the state. The rest falls in Uttarakhand.
The bids for the project were invited in September and had to be opened on October 9. But the Highway Authority had later thought of abandoning the project as the state government had refused to sign the State Support Agreement. They have now decided to go ahead with the project.
“The 9 bids received for this project were opened on Wednesday. A contractor for the project will be finalised within a week,” said M K Jain, Project Director.
“The state government has not sent any letter of consent on the State Support Agreement. But the Highway Authority is going ahead with the project,” added Jain.
According to him, the four-laning of the highway will start from June next year. About 70-hectare would be required for 21-km stretch in the state.
“Land has been earmarked. A proposal has been sent to the authorities for approval on notification of land acquisition. The notification will be issued within a week,” said Jain.
The Muzaffaragar-Hardwar section will be four-laned on built, operate and transfer (BOT) basis under the National Highways Development Project (phase-III). The project will cost Rs 900 crore. The Detailed Project Report has also been prepared.
The state government had refused to sign the State Support Agreement as it wants to develop an expressway along the Upper Ganga Canal from Noida to Hardwar which will also open a passage for Uttarakhand from UP and Delhi. Jain said if the State Support Agreement was signed, the state government had to assure that no alternative expressway — Upper Ganga Canal Expressway — would be developed parallel to Highway Authority’s highway, leading to a competition.
“Since the agreement has not been signed, the state government is free to develop its own expressway,” said Jain.
The eight-lane Upper Ganga Canal expressway, popularly known as Hindon Expressway, will stretch from Noida to Hardwar through Muzaffarnagar and Roorkee. Mumbai-based firm called Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Limited (IL&FS) is conducting the feasibility study of the project and are likely to submit the report by next month.