Delhi-Dehradun Expressway construction reaches final phase, tunnel work begins
Delhi-Dehradun Expressway is likely to be completed soon as the critical final phase of the construction has begun. Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, shared key updates regarding the construction of the 210-km expressway, which is expected to drastically reduce the travel time between the two cities. The expressway is part of the Delhi-Dehradun Economic Corridor, and is expected to be completed within the March, 2024 deadline.
The Delhi-Dehradun Expressway was approved in 2020 and has been under construction. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had laid the foundation of the expressway in December last year. The expressway boasts of Asia's largest wildlife elevated corridor, which spans around 12 kms of the highway, for unrestricted wildlife movement.
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Nitin Gadkari said that construction work for the last 20-km stretch of the highway near Dehradun has started. It passes through eco-sensitive zone of Raja Ji National Park where the 12-km elevated wildlife corridor is being constructed that includes the 340-metre Daat Kali tunnel. “The tunnel intends to protect the surrounding wildlife," said Gadkari.
Earlier, in December last year, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) allowed the construction of the Delhi-Dehradun Expressway. The statutory body gave the nod after assessing that no damage will be caused to the environment and no obstruction will be caused to the animal corridor on the Ganeshpur-Dehradun Road (NH-72A) stretch.
The Delhi-Dehradun Economic Corridor that will be built at a cost of around ₹8,300 crore. Under the supervision of The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), the expressway is designed to support driving at a top speed of 100 kmph.
The Delhi-Dehradun Expressway will reduce the distance between the two cities by 25 kms to just 210 kilometres. The time taken to drive between Delhi and Dehradun will be significantly reduced from six hours currently to just around 2.5 hours. It will also help commuters between Delhi and Hardwar to cover the distance within two hours instead of five hours taken now. The corridor will have seven major interchanges for connectivity to Haridwar, Muzaffarnagar, Shamli, Yamunagar, Baghpat, Meerut and Baraut.