The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved the development of the six-lane Eastern Peripheral Expressway on EPC basis. To be called National Highway No. NE-II, the 135-km expressway will circumvent Delhi and connect Haryana with Uttar Pradesh.
The total project cost is estimated to be Rs.7,558 crore including Rs.1,795 crore for land acquisition, R&R and other pre-construction activities. The proposed expressway will start from km36.083 on NH-1 and end at km64.330 on NH-2, covering Sonepat, Faridabad, and Palwal districts in Haryana; and Baghpat, Gautam Budh Nagar, and Ghaziabad districts in Uttar Pradesh. Construction will be carried out in seven packages, each of around 22 km.
The main objective of the expressway is to decongest Delhi and obviate extreme air pollution in the city. Currently, thousands of trucks not destined for Delhi, make the city a mere thoroughfare to reach Uttar Pradesh or Haryana.
In February 2014, CCEA had approved the project to be implemented on PPP basis. However, not a single bidder out of the five that submitted their requests for qualifications, put in its price bid. NHAI received five RfQ bids from IL&FS Transportation Networks Ltd, Reliance Infrastructure Ltd, Srei Infrastructure Finance Ltd, Uniquest Infra Ventures, and IRB Infrastructure Developers Ltd showed interest to develop the project. But when tenders were floated, none showed any response. NHAI retendered the bids five times with no change in result. With the result, the implementation mode was changed to EPC.
The project was stuck for several years due to differences between the Planning Commission and the ministry of road transport & highways. While the commission was in favour of toll fees higher than those charged for highways, the ministry favoured no increase. The cost of the expressway has risen substantially from Rs.2,600 crore in September 2010 to over Rs.7,500 crore now.
Western peripheral road revives: The highly delayed Kundli-Manesar-Palwal expressway in Haryana that was scheduled to complete in 2009 but remained incomplete for over five years since the deadline, has revived. Nodal agency Haryana State Industrial & Infrastructure Development Corporation (HSIIDC) recently awarded the balance works to Gurgaon-headquartered KCC Buildcon Pvt Ltd. The expressway is scheduled to complete by January 2016, by current thinking.
Speaking to Projectmonitor, a senior official of HSIIDC said that the contract placed on KCC Buildcon was on item-rate basis. Once the balance works are completed, the expressway will be in the ownership of HSIIDC. The official also mentioned that no decision on user charges has been yet arrived at. It is likely that the KMP Expressway would be a toll-free road.
The 135-km six-lane expressway was conceived in order to connect four major national highways – NH-1 (Delhi-Ambala-Amritsar), NH-2 (Delhi-Agra-Varanasi-Dankuni), NH-8 (Delhi-Jaipur-Ahmedabad-Mumbai) and NH-10 (Delhi-Hisar-Fazilka-India-Pakistan border.) Like the Eastern Peripheral Expressway, the KMP Expressway also seeks to decongest Delhi, offering interconnectivity to four highways, bypassing Delhi. In February 2006, the project was offered to a consortium of DS Constructions Ltd (now DSCL Ltd) and Apollo Constructions, on BOT basis. However, construction work was delayed significantly for a variety of reasons. When the contract was finally terminated in December 2014, less than 70 per cent of the work stood complete.