Delhi-Gurgaon expressway gets a new operator

July 17, 2014

Written by Sandali Tiwari | Gurgaon |

It will also be responsible for collecting toll at Kherki Daula plaza, which marks the end of the stretch.

The Delhi-Gurgaon expressway has a new operator — Skylark Highways Solutions Ltd. The company will carry out maintenance and toll duties on the 28-km stretch beginning Wednesday. It will also be responsible for collecting toll at Kherki Daula plaza, which marks the end of the stretch.

According to figures provided by concessionaire Millennium City Expressways Pvt Ltd (MCEPL), about 2.5 lakh vehicles use the expressway to enter Gurgaon from Delhi every day and over 50,000 vehicles cross the Kherki Daula toll plaza to go to the new sectors of Gurgaon — Sectors 58-115 and Manesar.

Skylark Highways Solutions Ltd has been given a nine-month contract. After nine months, its work will be assessed before being made permanent. If made permanent, the contract will continue till 2023.

“We took over the toll plaza at Kherki Daula on Tuesday but will begin operations only from midnight. It will take us a few days to look into the problems at this particular toll plaza,” a spokesperson from Skylark said.

The new operator is expected to drive up the toll revenue. According to MCEPL officials, the toll revenue on weekdays from the Delhi-Gurgaon expressway is approximately Rs 36 lakh.

In order to check bribing at toll booths, which brings down toll revenue by almost 10 per cent, the concessionaire is planning to install Automatic Vehicle Classification and Counting machines. This machine will remove any possibility of human interference to determine the value of toll tax.

The expressway is also set to get a facelift and the contract for the same has been awarded to two Gurgaon-based companies — Gawar Constructions and NKC Infrastructure. While Gawar will work to recarpet the Delhi-Jaipur road, NKC Infrastructure will work on the Delhi-Gurgaon road. The 28-km expressway that has 21 entry points and 28 exit points will don a new look by the end of this year, an MCEPL official said.




BMC plans BRTS on coastal road

July 15, 2014

Written by Alison Saldanha |


Citizens can still benefit from the scheme which continues till July 31.

Citizens can still benefit from the scheme which continues till July 31.


The Rs 9,000-crore road project, proposed to run from Nariman Point to Kandivali, has been cleared by CM and BMC.

A Bus Rapid Transport System (BRTS) is likely to become one of the key components of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s proposed Coastal Road project as the civic administration prepares its detailed project report (DPR) to be submitted soon to the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) for deliberation.

The Rs 9,000-crore road, proposed to run from Nariman Point to Kandivali, has been cleared by the BMC and Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan as a critical solution for decongesting traffic to and from the island city and western suburbs. According to additional municipal commissioner S V R Srinivas, who is in charge of the BMC’s civic roads department, the corporation has included this suggestion in the techno-feasibility DPR report, which is currently in the final stages of completion.

“We are just finalising the DPR and apart from what was initially considered, we now want to include a BRTS in the project. This is basically to encourage public transport which, at last count, had gone down by 12 per cent in its share of vehicular traffic on Mumbai’s roads. This is an alarming situation as public transport is crucial to reducing traffic congestion. We would like to encourage a project model that would be accessible to all,” Srinivas said.

The planned BRTS would have two lanes, one next to each curbside of the proposed eight-lane 35.6-km Coastal Road. “At the T-junctions of the road, there will be interchanges of bus services travelling to different parts. We are also considering express bus services connecting commuters directly from Nariman Point to Kandivali,” Srinivas said.

The civic body will hold meetings with the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply Transport undertaking (BEST) on the proposal soon after the DPR is completed. The corporation hopes that emphasising on the public utility of the project and increasing its accessibility to people will improve its chances of acquiring a green clearance sooner.

Mumbai’s BRTS plan has been stuck since the concept was introduced in 2008. The Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (MMRDA) had planned the BRTS between Bandra and Dahisar on the Western Express Highway and between Sion and Mulund checkpost on the Eastern Express Highway. BEST was to carry the project forward. However, complaints regarding the Delhi and Pune BRTS prompted the MMRDA to put the project on hold.


Eastern Freeway to become India’s longest in April

March 12, 2014

  Manthan K Mehta,TNN |


MUMBAI: The entire stretch of Eastern Freeway from Orange Gate in south Mumbai till Ghatkopar will be thrown open to public in the third week of April, making it the longest such dedicated corridor in the country. The 16.59-km route can be covered in 25 minutes, cutting down on travel time by almost 50 minutes.Usually, it takes one-and-a-half to two hours to cover the stretch by road, depending on traffic.

“The last 3 km portion of the Freeway from Chembur to Ghatkopar-Mankhurd Link Road is on the verge of completion. Once that stretch is inaugurated, it will especially benefit motorists from Ghatkopar and those travelling to Thane and beyond,” said a senior official of MMRDA, the implementing agency of the project. The first stretch of the Freeway—9.29km of elevated corridor from Orange Gate to Anik and 4.3km ground-level stretch till Shivaji Chowk in Chembur—was opened in June 2013. The official further said, “We have undertaken several measures such as improving the condition at the Panjrapole junction in Chembur so that the waiting time at the signal can be reduced. We plan to shorten the radius of the rotary island at the signal to provide more road space.” The entire project cost Rs 1,463 crore.

Besides the 3-km stretch, the second tunnel, meant for vehicles bound for south Mumbai, will also be opened. “The work on the second tunnel is complete. But the road surface there is being improved and so, the entire width is not available to traffic for the time being,” the official added. Work on a pair of ramps near Bhakti Park, which will help motorists take the freeway to Chembur, is also at an advanced stage of completion. Two other pairs of ramps—one at the Govandi ROB junction and the other at Ghatkopar-Mankhurd Link Road—will also be inaugurated at the same time. A fourth one, which will help vehicles to and from Wadala, Dadar, Mahim and Matunga access the Freeway will be ready in May.

Diversion of vehicles to the Freeway has already eased snarl on Dr Ambedkar Marg, Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Marg, MbPT road and the Eastern Express Highway. The opening of the last phase will help further reduce congestion on Dr Ambedkar road. Around 50% fuel consumption and that in the levels of harmful emissions and noise are also likely to go down.

Explaining the delay of the last stretch, officials said that MMRDA had to rehabilitate 495 families. Rehabilitating them, land acquisition and hurdles faced by the presence of transformers and pumping stations in the way pushed back the deadline, an official said.


India approves major expressway project in Haryana, Uttar Pradesh

March 6, 2014

India is set to commence a new Rs62.84bn ($1bn) project to increase the Eastern Peripheral Expressway of National Highway Number NE-II to six lanes in the states of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.

The total cost of project includes the cost of land acquisition, resettlement and rehabilitation and other pre-construction activities.

The project covers the districts of Sonepat, Faridabad and Palwal in Haryana and Baghpat, Gautam Budh Nagar and Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh.

 Development of the 135km stretch will help uplifting of the socio-economic conditions of the region of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, while accelerating improvement of infrastructure in the two states.

The project will ease congestion on Delhi roads, which are crowded by trucks and buses. It will also lower pollution levels in the city.

It will also increase generate employment opportunities for local labourers for project activities.

The project was approved by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), and will be executed under a design, build, finance, operate and transfer (DBFOT) model in build, operate and transfer (BOT-Annuity) mode of delivery.

The latest project follows a major national highway widening project approved by CCEA in Haryana, under the government’s flagship road development programme.

The widening project includes four-laning the Kaithal Rajasthan border section of National Highway-152/65 (NH-152/65) in Haryana under National Highways Development Project (NHDP) Phase IV.



Bangalore Airport expressway to be ready by January: Oscar Fernandes

November 22, 2013


Bangalore: Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Oscar Fernandes on Wednesday said his ministry has decided to take up and fast track few expressway projects for the benefit of the industry.

“….we have to complete the projects that we were scheduled to finish…. The Mumbai-Vadodara Ex­pressway is going to be speeded up, the eastern & we­stern peripheral expressways – we are going to take up, also Delhi-Jaipur ex­pressway,” he said after inaugurating EXCON 2013.

He said these expressways will provide enough growth opportunities for the industry. On the Bangalore Airport expressway he said, “It should be completed by January 26 next.”


EXCON 2013 – an exhibition on construction equipment and construction technology is being organised by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in association with Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways and Karnataka Government.


Fernandes said: “Another area we are stepping in is electronic tolling. We have got the latest technology through a mobile you can pay your toll. It is under trial.


NH-24 in Delhi to be 14-laned for Meerut expressway

November 20, 2013


By Dipak Kumar Dash, TNN |

NEW DELHI: After several flip-flops, the road transport and highways has decided to build the much delayed Delhi-Meerut expressway starting from Nizamuddin Bridge on Ring Road. This is one of three expressway projects that PMO is monitoring with the target of awarding work in this financial year.

Once complete, commuters will be able to reach Meerut in 45 to 60 minutes and cut travel time to Haridwar and Dehradun by almost an hour.

While the present stretch of NH-24 up to UP Gate will be   widened to 14 lanes from the present eight, 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 Meerut bypass.

“Since the expressway has been planned to improve connectivity between Delhi and Meerut, the six central lanes on the Delhi-UP Gate stretch will be barricaded exclusively for traffic heading towards Meerut,” said a transport ministry official.

The official said local traffic would use the rest eight lanes without having to pay toll. “Those entering the expressway lanes will be tolled even if they get out at UP Gate or Dasna,” he said. 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 Meerut bypass.

“Since the expressway has been planned to improve connectivity between Delhi and Meerut, the six central lanes on the Delhi-UP Gate stretch will be barricaded exclusively for traffic heading towards Meerut,” said a transport ministry official.

The official said local traffic would use the rest eight lanes without having to pay toll. “Those entering the expressway lanes will be tolled even if they get out at UP Gate or Dasna,” he said.


The Uttar Pradesh government was earlier keen on getting Rs 900 crore central assistance for widening of NH-24 from UP Gate to Dasna. It wanted the work to be executed by the state public works department. Earlier, the road ministry had also floated a tender to widen this stretch with 100% government funding.

Sources said the proposal of starting the expressway from Nizamuddin Bridge was taken to tap the huge traffic flow from Delhi to make the project financially viable. The 28km stretch between Nizamuddin Bridge and Dasna is one of the most congested in the NCR. The traffic flow is likely to increase considering dozens of new residential projects coming up along this stretch of NH-24.

NH-58 that connects Anand Vihar with Meerut has already congested and there is almost no scope of further expansion since the road passes through built-up areas in Muradnagar and Modi Nagar. So, the expressway is expected to come as a big relief for those going towards Haridwar and Dehradun.



Rs 9,000-cr Agra-Lucknow expressway plan hits a dead end; Reliance Infrastructure, Jaypee lose interest

November 15, 2013

Deepa Jainani | Lucknow |

It’s UP chief minister Akhilesh Yadav’s dream project, but the Rs 9,000-crore, 270-km access-controlled six-lane Agra-Lucknow greenfield expressway has found no takers.Belying expectations, none of the five companies — Essel Infrastructure, Reliance Infrastructure Ltd, Jaypee Group, IL&FS and Indus Concessions India — which had submitted technical bids, came forward on Tuesday, the scheduled date for financial bids.Cancelling the process, Infrastructure and Industrial Development Commissioner (IIDC) Alok Ranjan said that the matter will now be referred to the state government for further direction.

The expressway was being touted as an engine to drive socio-economic change in the region through which it would have traversed. “Improved road infrastructure facilities are imperative to enable industrial development leading to inclusive socio-economic progress in the state.

And the Agra-Lucknow expressway would have propelled development all along its route apart from saving travel time and cost. Once completed, the expressway would have cut short the travelling time between Lucknow and Agra from 6 hours to 3.30 hours and would have further acted as a link to Delhi via the Yamuna expressway,” said an official requesting anonymity.

This was supposed to be a toll-based project. The government, sources said, will now examine why this model could not find success and whether other options or models could be followed.

Interestingly, while these companies had shown interest in the expressway when it was launched immediately after the Akhilesh government came to power, gradually, they seemed to have lost interest and began seeing it as a loss-making venture.

In fact, some of the developers even expressed their reluctance, doubting the feasibility of the project and had requested the state to rework the project around the ‘land parcel’ model as was adopted for the Yamuna Expressway. Under that model, the developer was given land along the project as “sweetener” to compensate the cost of large-scale investment.

However, since the Samajwadi Party had opposed the model during the 2012 assembly election calling it ‘anti-farmer’, it was difficult for it to accept this suggestion. All this while, the government kept pushing back the deadline for submitting the bids citing “procedural requirement”. But with today’s development, it had no choice but to close this chapter finally.



Centre looks at options to finance Delhi-Jaipur e-way

November 14, 2013

Mihir | New Delhi |


SUMMARY–Road transport ministry is looking at a slew of options, including a two per cent surcharge on the sale of land for residential purposes along the expressway.


To part-finance the cost of constructing the 265-km Delhi-Jaipur expressway project, the road transport ministry is looking at a slew of options, including a two per cent surcharge on the sale of land for residential purposes along the expressway.

The funds collected by way of the surcharge, according to the proposal, will be routed to the Central government and used subsequently for the purpose of constructing the expressway.

“Our estimates show that this surcharge will give us around Rs 4,700 crore, which will fund a large part of our project cost. If you exclude the cost of land acquisition, the project is estimated to cost around Rs 7,000 crore,” said a senior road transport ministry official.

He further explained that any residential project along the expressway will need entry and exit points for its traffic and this surcharge will be a payment for providing that exit to those residential colonies.

The Delhi-Jaipur expressway is the first expressway project that the Central government hopes to work on. The other expressway projects in the pipeline are the Delhi-Meerut, Mumbai-Vadodra and Eastern Peripheral expressways.

This proposal, along with others, will be discussed by an Inter-ministerial Council headed by the road secretary and have members from the finance ministry, Planning Commission and the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI).

The other proposals include developing the expressway by funding the shortfall through a viability gap funding, allowing the company developing the project rights to collect tolls also on the Delhi-Gurgaon expressway and Delhi-Jaipur highway after their concession period is over and government funding the construction of the project.

“Allowing the expressway company to collect toll on the other highway connecting Jaipur will also take care of the competing highway issue. Enabling the expressway concessionaire to collect toll on these highway should not be a problem, as we will put a clause in the bid document for Delhi-Jaipur expressway,” said the official. He added that the concession period for Delhi-Jaipur will end in 2023 and Delhi-Gurgaon is set to end by 2024.

According to current estimates, the Delhi-Jaipur expressway would not be able to break even in terms of total traffic that would use it. It is estimated that the expressway will cater to a traffic of 25,000 passenger cars daily but requires 42,000 passenger cars to break even.

The NHAI had raised a question on the viability of the project and said that it was neither feasible through toll nor through government funding. It had also said that private companies would not be interested in getting into a high-cost expressway project at this juncture.



Gurgaon e-way revenues up Rs 60 lakh a month says NHAI

October 29, 2013

Abhinav Garg & Dipak K Dash, TNN |

NEW DELHI: The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) told the Delhi high court on Monday that revenues from the 32-lane toll plaza on Gurgaon expressway increased by Rs 60 lakh in a single month after it commissioned a survey to monitor collections.

The highway authority said the KPMG survey, which estimated the traffic volumes on the road, proved that the private concessionaire operating the expressway “can’t be trusted” because it had been under-reporting traffic.

“The operator is receiving money but not accounting (it). We found that the handheld devices with which they collect toll during peak hours are not connected to the main server for escrow accounts. Same is the case with extra toll booths they set up. This money was not accounted for,” senior advocate Sandeep Sethi, representing NHAI, claimed before Justice Manmohan Singh.

Sethi said once the survey findings were filed in HC and a show cause notice on underreporting of traffic issued to the private operator,Delhi-Gurgaon Super Connectivity Ltd (DGSCL), “our revenue for September, collected in October, increased by Rs 60 lakh.”

The KPMG survey, which has been refuted by DGSCL, had claimed underreporting of vehicles causing a daily revenue leakage to the tune of Rs 15.58 lakh during August 2012 and July 2013.

When Justice Singh asked if the authority was open to “finding a cure” to the dispute if, for arguments sake, the operator was willing to refund the amount allegedly siphoned, Sethi replied in the negative. “All that is now history. We can’t repose our faith in the operator. We have learnt from our mistakes,” the counsel said, making it clear that NHAI was not interested in a settlement with the firm.

On being further prodded by the court, the counsel claimed despite interventions by various authorities, commuters continue to suffer as DGSCL has not implemented reforms nor is it trying to improve traffic flow. Answering the court’s apprehension on the future of the toll plaza if it sanctions termination of the contract, NHAI indicated it will operate it till it finds a suitable replacement. The court will hear DGSCL’s defence on Friday.

“We have strongly refuted the KPMG survey findings and would take this up in the court as well in the next hearing,” the DGSCL spokesperson said. “The survey was done manually which is prone to human error and did not employ scientific and automated vehicle classification and counting (AVCC) system as stipulated in the concession agreement and neither did it correctly account for exemptions and run-throughs of traffic.”

Regarding the variation of toll revenues across months, the spokesperson said traffic volumes and revenues in the festive months of September and October were always higher than the holiday and monsoon months of July and August.

Expressway operator gave wrong figures, NHAI tells court

October 29, 2013

Aneesha Mathur : New Delhi,

The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) on Monday informed the Delhi High Court that the concessionaire of the Delhi-Gurgaon expressway had misrepresented the revenue collection from the toll booths.

“My fingers have been burned,” Senior Advocate Sandeep Sethi, who is representing NHAI, said, while telling the court that his client had asked KPMG in July to carry out an independent verification of the daily traffic and toll booth collections, after “developing apprehensions that the concessionaire was misreporting collections”.

NHAI had issued a showcause notice to the concessionaire, Delhi Gurgaon Super Connectivity Limited (DGSCL), after the auditor had reported inaccuracies in revenue figures.

During arguments, Sethi also alleged that after the showcause notice was issued, NHAI’s share of revenue from the toll booths had risen from Rs 1.22 crore in August to Rs 1.82 crore in September. “The revenue share for the NHAI jumped by 60 lakh,” Sethi said.

The NHAI had filed a criminal complaint against D S Constructions, DGSCL’s parent company, earlier this month, accusing the concessionaire of cheating and causing wrongful loss by under-reporting traffic at the 32-lane toll plaza.

Sethi also argued that despite an agreement between NHAI and D S Constructions, the concessionaire had refused to let NHAI staff man the booths.

Contending that the concessionaire should be “substituted with another eligible entity”, Sethi told the bench of Justice Manmohan Singh, “NHAI, as a receiver of the property, will run the toll business, until the time it identifies, evaluates and finalises a substitute concessionaire.”

The HC was hearing arguments on a plea filed by D S Construction against a notice issued to it by NHAI on December 7, 2012, to terminate the concession agreement which permitted the private company to run both the toll booths and the expressway.

NHAI had also accused concessionaire Delhi Gurgaon Super Connectivity Limited (DGSCL) of fraud, claiming that the company had re-financed the project without NHAI’s approval. The highway authority had also accused DGSCL of failing to improve services at the 32-lane toll plaza.


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