In what will finally come as a big relief to lakhs of commuters using Nizamuddin Bridge on the Hapur stretch of NH-24, widening of this corridor will start from next month. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to lay the foundation stone on December 31.
Expansion of one of the most congested stretches in the NCR will be implemented through hybrid annuity, a new variant of public private partnership (PPP) model, which allows no extension of time for developers and thereby eliminating delay in work completion.
For faster execution, the entire 50-km stretch has been divided into three parts. The first two portions - Nizamuddin Bridge to UP Gate and UP Gate to Dasna - will be widened to 14 lanes and the central six lanes of this will be a barricaded corridor for straight going traffic. The remaining portion will be a six-lane highway.
"We have received bids for the two portions and bids for the third one will be opened soon. The process will be over in the next 10-12 days so that contracts are awarded quickly," said an NHAI official.
The other eight lanesfour on each sidewould be a normal highway and commuters won't have to pay toll.
The last study of traffic on this stretch was done in 2008 and it was found that nearly 1.4 lakh passenger car units used this corridor. A survey by RITES had shown how traffic growth was about 200% more than the capacity. Now it has become worse as huge number of housing societies have come up on both sides of the highway and in the absence of any reliable public transport system, a large number of commuter use personal vehicles.
"The widening of this stretch will increase throughput of vehicles and no idling will reduce pollution. Since in hybrid annuity model, the government takes all the risks and developers are assured of getting back their investment in installments, the project will be completed on time," said a highway ministry official.
Commuters will have to pay toll to use the barricaded corridor with limited entry and exit points. The official said for seamless traffic movement and avoid pile-up at toll plazas, there will be complete electronic toll collection (ETC) system on this stretch. The commuters will have to pay toll for taking the barricaded stretch, which is an expressway and the design speed will be 120 kmph.
Source: ET Realty