Thursday, June 17, 2010

Now You Can Drive at the speed of 120kmph to Haridwar

The drive from Delhi to western Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand will soon be a breeze for commuters and tourists. With the Uttar Pradesh government all set to start work on an eight-lane expressway connecting Greater Noida and UP-Uttarakhand border in Muzaffarnagar along the Upper Ganga canal, long snarls on NH-58 the existing route will be a thing of the past.

The access-controlled expressway project will have the design speed of 120 kmph. The stretch will not only provide an alternate route to the congested NH-58 (Delhi-Haridwar) but also divert the truck traffic carrying sugarcane from national highway. As per the bid document of the expressway project, the canal along the proposed stretch will be used for navigational facilities. Presently, trucks loaded with sugarcane often cause congestion on NH-58.

‘‘The transportation of sugarcane through water channel will be cheaper than through road network. Steamers can easily navigate in the canal and can carry farm produce and other cargo. In certain stretches, the canal may have to be widened marginally,’’ said a senior official UP Expressway Industrial Authority (UPEIDA).

The project is set to take off soon with the state government already holding two rounds of pre-bid meetings. The concessionaire for the Upper Ganga Canal Expressway is likely to be finalized next month. Secondly, the biggest advantage for UP government to fast-track the project execution is that the land required for the expressway is already available with the state irrigation department, which can easily be leased out to the private developer. The project will be completed within 36 months from the date of appointment of the concessionaire.

Officials said that approximately 45 meters of right of way (RoW) is available with the irrigation department on the right side of the canal, which is sufficient to build an 8-lane expressway. Five locations along the canal have been identified for the cargo transportation landing facilities. Officials said that the expressway could give boost to economic development in Bulandshahr, Gautambudh Nagar, Ghaziabad, Meerut, Muzaffarnagar and Saharanpur districts.

To make the project viable and for optimum utilization of the canal water, the developer will also be allowed to generate hydro electricity of approximately 37.4MW. Seven locations have been identified for setting up of the electricity generation plants in Meerut, Muzaffarnagar and Ghaziabad districts.