After experiencing multiple missed deadlines, the long-anticipated Dwarka Expressway project is now gaining momentum. According to officials from the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), the 18.9-km stretch of the expressway within the city is on track to be completed by October 15, a slight delay from the initially expected August completion date.
This 29-kilometer expressway, stretching from Delhi’s Shiv Murti to the Kherki Daula toll plaza in the city, was conceived by the Haryana government in 2006. NHAI took over the project in 2016, commencing construction in November 2019, with an original two-year deadline.
NHAI officials are diligently progressing with the construction of 14 subways. The route and expediting the merger of the Central Peripheral Road (CPR) and Southern Peripheral Road (SPR) into NH-8. Through slip roads are scheduled for completion by mid-October. The integration of CPR and SPR will be facilitated by two slip roads connecting each to the highway.
However, there are still some challenges. The underpass at Kherki Majra will require an additional six months for completion, as NHAI recently acquired the necessary land from HSVP. Additionally, a slip road near the Bajghera underpass is pending due to ongoing land acquisition. Nevertheless, NHAI officials assert that these issues will not hinder the opening of the Dwarka Expressway, although no official date for its public opening has been confirmed.
The alignment of subways poses certain complexities, including the presence of utility infrastructure such as water pipelines. Delays have also occurred in utility shifting in a few areas. Nevertheless, NHAI aims to conclude most subway-related work. With only minor portions like approaches and ramps remaining. These underground projects have been isolated to avoid disruptions to the main carriageway.
In parallel, landscaping efforts are underway at all five roundabouts in the city section. Last week, the relocation of the 220 kVA high-tension power line near Garhi Harsaru was completed. NHAI intends to conduct another safety audit on the expressway once all work is finalized to ensure its safety for commuters.
L&T, the contractor responsible for packages 3 and 4 of the expressway. Has deployed their full resources to expedite the project. The merging of ramps on slip roads with NH-8 is already in progress, with further work expected to conclude soon. However, the decision regarding the expressway’s official opening rests with NHAI.
Residents of new sectors have expressed their frustration with the ongoing delays. “We have eagerly awaited the opening of the Dwarka Expressway for an extended period. NHAI has set numerous deadlines, all of which were missed,” said Kshitij Bansal, a Sector 102 resident. The sporadic opening and closing of the cloverleaf on CPR have added to the confusion and inconvenience, posing potential safety risks due to unregulated traffic flow.