Panipat,16 July:To ease acute congestion in the Panipat city on National Highway-1(NH-1) between Delhi and Amritsar, the 10 km long Panipat Elevated Highway on North-South Corridor was inaugurated today, by the Union Minister of Shipping Road Transport & Highways Thiru T. R. Baalu, alongwith Shri Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Chief Minister of Haryana.
Shri K.H.Muniyappa, Minister of State in the Ministry of Shipping Road Transport & Highways, besides several Ministers of the Government of Haryana were present on the occasion.
Speaking on the occasion, Thiru T.R. Baalu said that the 325 crore rupee project has been completed six months ahead of schedule and it would bring relief to a large number of road users in Panipat and to the people proceeding to Punjab, Jammu & Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh who were earlier facing traffic jams on NH-1. He said that this project will lead to overall development of Panipat and the adjoining areas and boost the economy of this region. The Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh had laid the foundation of this project in April 2006 and it was scheduled to be completed in January next year.
Making a special mention of the benefit of this project particularly in the context of rising international oil prices, the Minister said that it will lead to considerable savings in travel time and fuel costs. Travelling through this particular stretch on this National Highway would take only 10 minutes which is much less than the present average travelling time of 45 minutes, he said and added that this would result in saving of fuel of about 30,000 litres per day, thus effecting a saving of about Rs.15 lakhs per day only on fuel whereas the several other cost factors like wear and tear, if taken into account, would make the saving even more.
This new facility will be implemented on Built Operate and Transfer basis (BOT) with negative grant. The project facilities will be maintained by the concessionaire for 20 years period including construction period. With the opening of Panipat Elevated Highway including six laning of km 86 to km 96, the traffic congestion in Panipat city will ease considerably. It will now take about 8 to 10 minutes to cross 10 km. stretch including 3 km. long elevated highway which used to take about one hour to cross the stretch during the peak hours.
Nine meter wide Peripheral roads provided on either side will cater for local traffic without interfering with long distance main traffic. Three under passes at km. 87, 92 and 93.6 have been provided for the cross traffic. Via-duct has been provided covering the Panipat city on the crossings of Gohana road, Sanauli road, Assand road and Bus stand upto Skylark Tourist Complex. At the end of the stretch a Toll Plaza has been provided for collection of the user fee.
Thiru Baalu said that the Union Government is committed to the rapid development of Haryana. Giving details of the road projects in the State, he said that we have initiated work for four laning of Panipat-Rohtak, Punchkula-Barwala-Saha-YamunaNagar and Babal-Rohtak-Jind sections. “We are also implementing 135-km long 6-lane Eastern Peripheral Expressway with a length of 49 kms in Haryana. Haryana State Industrial & Infrastructure Development Corporation is constructing the 135-km long 4-lane Kundli-Manesar-Palwal Expressway also known as Western Peripheral Expressway (WPE) which is entirely in the State of Haryana’, he said. Recently the work of Badarpur Elevated Highway has been awarded and the project is scheduled to be completed before the Commonwealth Games 2010. “The work of six-laning of 291 kms Panipat -Jalandhar stretch of which 107 kms is in Haryana at an estimated cost of Rs.2,288 crore, has been awarded. Similarly, the project for six-laning of Gurgaon-Kotputli-Jaipur section of NH-8 has also been awarded at an estimated cost of Rs.1,673 crores. Other major projects taken up include four laning of Delhi-Rohtak and Zirakpur-Parwanoo stretches”, the Minister said.
Thiru Baalu reiterated Government’s resolve to attach the highest priority to the development and expansion of physical infrastructure, including roads and highways. He said that it is a matter of pride for us that while only 2,342 kms of National Highways had been completed from December 2000 to May 2004 at the rate of 1.86 kms per day, in the last four years, from May 2004 onwards, our Government has completed 5,948 kms of National Highways at the rate of 3.96 kms per day.
The Minister said that the amount spent under the National Highways Development Project (NHDP) has been increased from Rs.6,093 crores by the previous regime to Rs.18,066 crores by the present Government, representing an increase of over 196%.
Thiru Baalu said that the revised programme entail massive unprecedented investments to the tune of about Rs.2,35,690 crore. He said that improvement of 5,679 km length has been completed under the Golden Quadrilateral out of the total length of 5,846 km, and the works are in progress in the remaining length of 167 km. Giving details of other NHDP Projects, the Minister said that under the North-South and East-West Corridors, works have been completed in 2,535 kms length out of the total length of 7,142 kms and works are under implementation in 3,786 kms length. Works of 6-laning are in progress in about 1,030 kms length out of total length 6,500 kms under NHDP Phase-V. The Government has also accorded approvals for construction of 1,000 kms of Expressways under NHDP Phase-VI and Construction of Ring Roads, Flyovers and Bypasses in selected stretches under NHDP Phase-VII. These projects are targeted to be completed by 2015.
The Minister said that in Haryana, about 339 kms of National Highways have been widened to four-lane, about 283 kms of National Highways are being taken up for widening to six/four lanes and project preparation for widening to six/four lanes of about 481-km length is under various stages of progress. He said that his Ministry, during the last four years, has sanctioned 85 works amounting to Rs.371crores for improvement of National Highways and another sum of Rs.245 crore has been sanctioned under the Central Road Fund Scheme for improvement of State roads in Haryana during the last four years. These projects will provide the backbone to the economy of this vibrant State, which will also boost the industrial and agricultural sectors and encourage tourism, Thiru Baalu added.
Speaking on the occasion, the Minister of State for Shipping, Road Transport and Highways Shri K.H.Muniyappa said that transportation is the key element in all developmental aspects in the road sector, whether it is the pace of traffic in terms of speed as well as intensity, or need for stricter regulations and enforcement to provide an efficient and safe transportation system. He said that to meet this growing demand, the Government has been giving greater stress by improving the infrastructure development in the highway sectors with the help of National Highways Development Programmes and other Centrally Sponsored Schemes. Shri Muniyappa expressed the hope that the time will come when Indian Road Infrastructure would be referred as an example for its quality, speedy and cost effective implementation.
The Chief Minister of Haryana, Shri Bhupinder Singh Hooda also spoke on the occasion.