The Northern Peripheral Road, the 24-km long 8-laned expressway awaiting completion since 2012, seems to be finally on the home stretch with the central government acquiring the 22 hectares of land that had stalled the project. This is good news for real estate companies that had invested over Rs 60,000 crore in residential and commercial projects along the 150-metre-wide roadway, but had been stymied by the reluctance of buyers due to lack of proper connectivity.
The completion of the expressway is likely to revive the prospects of these investments. More than 20,000 apartments and hundreds of thousands square feet of commercial property are ready for possession. But buyers are either delaying taking possession of their properties or are disinclined to occupy them even after taking possession.
Saying that the expressway would start operating by March 2018, Getamber Anand, chairman of Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Association and CMD of ATS Infrastructure, said the developers’ community was ready to contribute whatever was required to complete the expressway. Navin Raheja, CMD of the Raheja Group, expressed similar sentiments, reiterating that the completion of the Dwarka Expressway would help revive real estate activity in the region.
There were two troublesome stretches holding up the road project. Acquisition of a 900-metre patch on the Delhi side of the expressway in Dwarka and a one-kilometre stretch in New Palam Vihar in Haryana was delayed because of the presence of some houses within the required land. The government has offered the owners alternate plots in the developed sectors of Gurgaon such as 37D and 110.
On November 22, Chandigarh high court had also underlined the process to allot the owners of the acquired land plots as per the direction of the Supreme Court. As the delay in the land acquisition was affecting the completion of the road, the Union government had even transferred the alignment of expressway to the National Highway Authority of India in 2016 and given the road the new name of National Highway 8A.
The government notified its intention to acquire the land in Dwarka for the construction of road on May 15, 2017 and invited objections from the parties concerned. According to the latest gazette notification, “objections have been received and the same have been considered and disallowed by the competent authority” and the “land specified in the said schedule shall vest absolutely in the central government, free from all encumbrances”.
“As the entire land required for completing the Dwarka Expressway now vests with NHAI and the tenders for construction have been floated, we are hopeful of a quick completion of the road project,” said Arjun Puri, director, Puri Constructions.
The highways authority has also initiated the process of taking possession of the land in Kherki Daula in Gurgaon where the Dwarka Expressway connects with the national highway. NHAI has proposed a clover leaf flyover there for seamless merging of traffic from the expressway with that on NH8. The construction is likely to be completed in 2019, a senior NHAI official said. The official added that NHAI’s current focus was to ensure the road was ready for use by early 2018.