Explore India’s inaugural eight-lane Dwarka Expressway, its transformative impact, CAG’s concerns on costs, and the government’s response. A journey of development and controversy unraveled.
Exciting Visit Plans
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is gearing up for a four-day trip to South Africa and Greece. A key highlight is the Dwarka Expressway, India’s inaugural eight-lane elevated expressway aimed at easing congestion between Delhi and Gurgaon. Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister, expects it to open for public use in the next 3-4 months.
Expressway’s Transformational Role
The Dwarka Expressway spans 563 kilometers, connecting Shiv Murti on National Highway 8 to Gurugram’s Kherki Daula toll plaza. Upon completion, it promises to significantly enhance connectivity between Delhi and Haryana, easing travel between Manesar, Dwarka, and Indira Gandhi International Airport.
Journey Time Transformation
Travel times are set to be revolutionized as highlighted in a video shared by Nitin Gadkari. Dwarka to Manesar will take just 15 minutes, while Manesar to Indira Gandhi International Airport will be a mere 20 minutes. Further, Dwarka to Singhu border will be reduced to 25 minutes, and Manesar to Singhu border will be a 45-minute journey.
Concerns and Government Response
A controversy surrounds the project due to a Comptroller Auditor General (CAG) report noting significant cost escalation. The CAG flagged the project’s per-kilometer cost, which reportedly skyrocketed from Rs 18.2 crore to Rs 251 crore. The government countered, citing the project’s complexity and disputed figures.
Clearing the Air
Government sources stated that the CAG calculations oversimplified the project’s intricacies. Nitin Gadkari clarified that the Dwarka Expressway isn’t just the 29 kilometers mentioned in the report but around 230 kilometers, inclusive of tunnels. He underscored the omission of several vital elements in the CAG’s assessment.
The issue has ignited a debate between the government and opposition, with the Aam Aadmi Party accusing the project of being a “scam.” Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal criticized the Modi-led government for alleged corruption records.
Addressing the Complexity
Nitin Gadkari conveyed his concerns to CAG officials, clarifying the project’s complexity. He noted that despite their understanding, the contentious report was still published.
The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways clarified that contracts for the expressway were awarded at a substantially reduced rate, leading to over 12% savings against estimates. The context behind the figures was emphasized to shed light on the true state of affairs.