Emulating Japanese feat to decongest Delhi-Jaipur Expressway

Can India emulate Japan? Yes. By trying to have a highway pass through a building. This is what the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways is attempting to do.

The Hanshin Expressway in Osaka passes a 16-storey building through the fifth, sixth and seventh floors, without affecting use of the other floors in the high-rise structure.

A similar engineering feat will be attempted at the Hero Honda Chowk in Gurgaon to decongest the Delhi-Jaipur Expressway. At this point the traffic is so heavy that it takes more than 90 minutes to reach the national capital from there. “We have to find an alternative mode as there is no land to widen the road,” Road Transport and Highways Minister C.P. Joshi told The-Hindu.

Mr. Joshi has initiated a discussion on the scope of passing a flyover through the Hero Honda building before taking the initiative forward that would help ease traffic on National Highway 8.

At the other end of the capital, he is contemplating building an elevated corridor on the Delhi-Dasna road as part of widening this part of NH-24 that leads to Meerut. The project will also include commercial exploitation of space.

These proposals are part of a scheme being drawn up to push construction work, which has been hit by the depressing economic scenario prevailing across the globe and affecting the country too.

Contracts-job mismatch

At a review meeting, Dr. Joshi directed the officials and the National Highways Authority of India to speed up construction work to achieve the targets set by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The stress is on ensuring a correlation of work accomplished to the contracts awarded. In 2011-12, just about 2,500 km of highways was constructed though contracts had been awarded for about 7,900 km.

The Ministry has decided to award contracts for 9,500 km of highways during the current financial year. Not satisfied with the pace of construction and the big gap between contracts awarded and the job done, Dr. Joshi has directed that projects be completed within 30 months as against the period of 36 months allowed currently.

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