On Friday, the National Green Tribunal gave a go ahead for the construction of two new bridges on Yamuna and two flyovers on each side of the existing one, near the Games Village. Thereafter the work on widening of NH24 to 14 lanes between Delhi and Ghaziabad would start immediately.
- However the green tribunal’s go-ahead came with certain conditions for NHAI. This includes strict monitoring of the Yamuna floodplains during construction of the bridges.
- The Delhi government has already started the process of rehabilitating slum-dwellers, staying close to the existing highway.
- “After a lot of efforts, we have got the approval of NGT. Work will start quickly on Nizamuddin-UP Gate and Dasna to Hapur stretches,” outgoing NHAI chairman Raghav Chandra said.
- The NGT acknowledged that in this case, NHAI is only expanding the existing highway to decongest the stretch and there was no other option.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked NHAI to complete the widening work by December, 2018.
- The existing 8-lane road in Delhi will be barricaded as access-controlled highway and four lanes on each side will be laid as service roads. While the stretch between Ring Road and Dasna will have 14 lanes, Dasna-Hapur section will be widened to six lanes.
- People using the access-controlled highway will have to pay toll and there will be limited entry and exit points. For example, one can enter near the Games Village and Ghazipur in the Delhi portion. The first exit will be near Mayur Vihar Phase-II.
- Sources said though the original plan does not provide for any exit on the stretch passing through dense Indirapuram and Noida stretches, which NHAI is likely to revise this.
- But to ensure that people using the service road and going straight don’t get caught in traffic jam, two-lane flyovers will be built on each carriageway at every traffic junction. These commuters won’t have to pay toll.