Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari, has shared a captivating glimpse of India’s inaugural elevated road project, the Dwarka Expressway. Dubbed a “marvel of engineering” and a “state-of-the-art” project, Gadkari lauds the remarkable achievements of the expressway, underscoring its importance in India’s infrastructure landscape. The Union minister’s video shared on X (formerly Twitter) offers an insight into this significant endeavor.
The Dwarka Expressway, India’s pioneering elevated road initiative, takes center stage as a testament to modern engineering marvels. Constructed at a cost of ₹9,000 crore, the 34-meter wide expressway stands as a single-pillar structure, spanning 18.9 km in Haryana and 10.1 km within the national capital.
This cutting-edge expressway commences at Shiv Murti on NH48 and culminates at Kherki Daula Toll plaza. Embodying an intricate four-level road network, the project integrates flyovers, tunnels, underpasses, grade roads, elevated roads, and flyovers. To enhance convenience, a three-lane service road is being developed on both sides of the expressway. Additionally, the Dwarka Expressway will incorporate an Intelligent Transport System (ITS) facility, aiming to elevate the transportation experience for users.
The project has not been without controversy. Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) legislators raised concerns during a Delhi assembly session, labeling the expressway project as the “biggest scam in 75 years.” They demanded a comprehensive investigation into alleged irregularities, urging federal agencies like the Enforcement Directorate and the Central Bureau of Investigation to intervene.
Recent discussions surrounding the CAG audit report on the implementation of Phase-I of the “Bharatmala Pariyojana” highway projects have further ignited controversy. The report highlighted how the decision by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to opt for an elevated carriageway on the Haryana portion of the Dwarka Expressway inflated the construction cost to ₹251 crore per kilometer from ₹18.2 crore per kilometer, as originally estimated.
Despite these controversies, Nitin Gadkari’s unwavering support for the project remains evident. The Union Minister expressed dismay over the CAG’s response and sought clearer answers during a high-level review meeting. Ministry sources reported Gadkari’s dissatisfaction with certain officials’ responses to queries raised by the CAG concerning the expressway’s construction costs.
As India’s first elevated 8-lane expressway, the Dwarka Expressway carries the potential to redefine the nation’s transportation landscape. Nitin Gadkari’s endorsement and commitment to infrastructure development underline the government’s ongoing efforts to modernize and elevate the country’s road networks, even amidst challenges and scrutiny.
Sources By Agencies