New Delhi : Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday set a deadline of September for awarding contract and put the construction of the Delhi-Jaipur Expressway on the fast lane.
This will be the first expressway to be built by the Centre and if successful, it will become a model for all other expressways in the country, mostly parallel to the existing national highways.
The proposed expressway was identified by the Prime Minister in November as the priority projects the government should push before the end of the current fiscal in March. Reviewing its progress with the minister and officials of the Road Transport and Highways Ministry on Tuesday, he wanted the spadework like signing of the state support agreement with the Rajasthan and Haryana governments had to be completed by February 28.
The PMO sources said the Prime Minister also directed the ministry to bring a note to the Cabinet to seek an in-principle approval by February 28. They said the PM will be holding meetings in the coming days to fast-track other projects like the new airport in Navi Mumbai.
The ministry’s estimate is that the 272-km long expressway to be built parallel to the national highway will cost Rs 11,750 crore, including the cost of land acquisition, rehabilitation and resettlement of those displaced.
The ministry in its presentation maintained it had examined multiple financing options and would opt for the most viable one. As on date, there is no expressway built by the Centre and as such the Delhi-Jaipur Expressway would be the first.
Either build via the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) route using funds from multilateral agencies or allow its developer to collect the toll from the adjacent Delhi-Gurgaon-Jaipur highway.
It is, however, not clear how the developer can start getting toll from the adjacent national highway as the concessionaires for the Jaipur-Gurgaon stretch are empowered to collect toll.