The India Post, Chandigarh, 10th February, 2009 :In a bid to inject a major fillip into an economically resurgent Punjab’s road infrastructure, Deputy Chief Minister Mr. Sukhbir Singh Badal today formally show-cased the details of one of the most prestigious state-of-the-art six-lane Expressway connecting two of Punjab’s most strategically located cities, SAS Nagar Mohali with Phagwara, making Punjab the first state in the country to move into the high speed closed-tolling access controlled transport network era.
"The entire process for putting this project on the ground has been completed. All the plan details, like alignment of the hundred meter wide corridor, and project structure had already been ‘worked out and finalized", he declared, adding that the land acquisition notice (section 4) for the purpose was issued on February 6.
The six-lane expressway, with provision for subsequent expansion to ten lanes, would cut the travel time between these two cities from the present 2 ½ hours to just one hour, resulting in a 150% saving on fuel and attendant running costs for vehicles. "This is just the beginning. We are determined to modernize Punjab, strengthen its economy and ensure progress and economic well being its people. Punjabis love quality living and we are committed to make it possible for them," said Mr. Badal.
Mr. Sukhbir Singh Badal said that the expressways would act as a multiple economic energy injector, leading to Development of 5-kilometer Economic Corridor on both sides and this would Agri Export Zones, SEZs, Industrial Parks, etc. The Expressway would be developed under Public Private Partnership (PPP) format wherein the Private Sector Player will bring and invest for the construction and Operation & Maintenance.
A similar expressway facility would also come up along the Sidhwan canal to begin the process of traffic modernization in the industrial hub of the state, Ludhiana, Mr. Badal declared. This 4-lanned partially access-controlled expressway along the left bank of the Sidhwan Canal would start from Doraha (at NH-1) and culminates at Ferozepur Road (NH-95) in Ludhiana City. The total length of the expressway is 26 km. the other features of the project includes flyovers at Malerkotla road junction, Dugri Road Junction, Pakhowal Road Junction, BRS/Sarabha Nagar Junction; RoBs over Dhuri/Delhi rail line & Moga/Firozpur rail line; an Underpass system at Firozpur road junction; 100% lining of Sidhwan Canal from Manpur Headworks to Firozpur Road; Service Road on left bank of the canal on selected reach; Landscaping/Beautification along the both banks of the Canal. The total estimated cost of the project is Rs 400 crores and is being shared by PIDB & GLADA. Tenders for construction of the project are being called within 10 days and construction will commence from May 2009. The project will be completed by October 2010 and long pending demand of Ludhiana City would met, Mr Badal said.
"These ‘state of the art’ green-field expressways would revolutionize the concept of road transport in the country and give a fillip to development activity in the economically resurgent Punjab," Mr. Sukhbir Singh Badal told media persons during a 40-minute luncheon power-point presentation to unveil the project at Punjab Bhawan this afternoon. Baddi and Lalru would also be connected to the Mohali-Phagwara expressway to give it total length of 180 kilometers, said Mr. Badal. This Rs. 5000 crore enterprise would propel the state into the global speedway era, he added.
The fully access controlled traffic artery, he said, would rival the very best anywhere in the world with the application of advanced and most advanced traffic-control technologies, such as Intelligent Transport System (ITS) and Highway Traffic Management System(HTMS) for surveillance of 100% length of Expressway through CCTV & Control Rooms and for providing prior information to commuters through Variable Electronic Message Display Boards.
In addition, the expressway would have closed tolling system ensuring payment of toll only once on exit for actual distance traveled. This facility is being installed for the first time in India.
Mr. Badal said that for the first time in the country, this expressway would have conflict free intersections, Interchanges and grade separators at all sensitive points to ensure safety and conflict traffic movement.
The ‘fully access controlled’ (FAC) road would ensure safety of road users and vehicles, conflict free intersections, Interchanges and grade separators at all major intersections for conflict free traffic movements. It would also have provision of service lanes on either sides, agricultural vehicle underpasses and irrigation Channel Crossings across the Expressway and would streamline connectivity to villages and small towns along the route. With world class wayside amenities like fully equipped service stations, petrol pumps, restaurants, food courts, entertainment, commercial activities and motel etc, the expressway would boast of landscaping and beautification as per the best international standards, apart from providing Value Added Services like Rescue Vehicles, Ambulances, Cranes, etc., disclosed the Deputy Chief Minister.
Economic and social benefits
Mr. Badal said that the proposed expressways would not only propel the state into the age of safety oriented, high speed surface transport era but would also unleash immense growth energies to bolster the economy of the state. "The new high speed, bottle-neck free express way would have a multiplier effect on the state’s economy, with new townships coming up along the route.
The Deputy Chief Minister said that among other the major benefits, would be an enhanced marketing opportunities through opening up of new mandis, development of social infra structure, like health and educational facilities, boost to food processing industry and the agri-export opportunities, development of backward areas because of world class connectivity, direct benefits to farmers in the form of increased land prices after Expressway becomes operational.
This, he said, would be in addition to the corresponding reduction social loss because of greater road safety, leading to fewer accidents and resultant deaths. There would also be direct benefits to the commuters through lesser travel time, distance and fewer vehicle operating costs.