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Expressways Needed in Haryana

29th July 2014

Naya Haryana
Expressways across the world have emerged as engines of growth and economic development. These signal-free express corridors are highways with controlled entrance and exit to facilitate high speed traffic that are being given high priority for better and fast connectivity, globally. A report of the Australia-based Western Research Institute in 2005 showed Expressways contributing to lower costs in 35 sectors of the US economy. India has Expressways covering a total distance of 1,208.19kilometres.It aims at adding around 18,000 kms more Expressways to its road network by2022. These Expressways - six or eight-lane highways - with controlled-access make road transportation much faster and efficient. Significantly, quite a few Expressways run through Haryana. Among the top 11 super Expressways in the country, the Ambala-Chandigarh Expressway (Operational since 2009), and Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway (since 2008) run through the state. Only recently the Himalayan Expressway was also completed connectingChandigarh to Shimla.(The road runs 21 km in Haryana and only two and 4.5 kilometers in Punjab and Himachal respectively). Delays affect Expressway projects in Haryana Yet, quite a few Expressway projects in the state are marred by controversies because of frequent delays and cost overrun. The proposed Delhi-Jaipur Expressway project is being reviewed because of the cost escalation because of the new land acquisition laws. The non-completion of the Rs 2,000 crore Western Peripheral Expressway (WPE) or the Kundli-Manesar-Palwal (KMP) Western Expressway even after eight years (The deadline for the project was 2009) is another case in point. Another project, which was conceived side by side with the WPE in 2006, was the Eastern Peripheral Expressway project to provide signal-free connectivity between Ghaziabad, Greater Noida (both in UP), Faridabad and Palwal (in Haryana). Work on the project is yet to start even! Dedicated Expressways required for Haryana While the WPE and EPE each about 135 km long are aimed at decongesting Delhi roads, the real need of the hour, according to Capt. Abhimanyus vision, is to construct: 1.A North South Expressway from Narnaul or beyond to Panchkula; and 2.AnEastWest Expressway connecting Palwal with Dabwaali. These two Expressways, according to Capt. Abhimanyu, would facilitate a growth-centric global urban corridor in the state in actual terms. He envisages theExpressways to be the only way to get rid of congestion delays and unreliability in the existing highway system that causes high transportation costs and impacts the livelihood of the people and businesses in Haryana. Once completed, he says these Expressways will reduce the travel time and cost which will lead to increased productivity, labour and market access and a boost in real estate and industrial development in the state. He envisages SEZs at the culmination points of the two Expressways. According to Capt. Abhimanyus vision, these Expressways would not only facilitate development of world-class infrastructure in the state, but would encourage a number of specialised economic activities that will lead to the growth of independent cluster cities along the corridor in real sense. Captain Abhimanyu though cautions that it is imperative that the Expressway projects meet the deadline to avoid cost escalation. He points out that inChina the ambitious National Trunk Highway System (NTHS), that was launched in 1990, envisaged 35,000 km of Expressways to link all the major cities and ports and the project was completed by 2007, which was 13 years ahead of schedule. expressway

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