The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) today informed the Supreme Court that ongoing construction of the 135-km long Eastern Peripheral Expressway, which would help decongest Delhi traffic, would be completed by March this year.
Similarly, the Haryana government told a bench comprising Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta that the work related to the 135-km long Western Peripheral Expressway, which connects Kundli to Palwal via Manesar in Haryana, was expected to be completed by June this year.
The Eastern Peripheral Expressway envisages signal-free connectivity between Ghaziabad, Faridabad, Gautam Budh Nagar (Greater Noida) and Palwal.
The apex court had on February 7 asked about the “correct position” of dates of completion of the ongoing construction of both these expressways after it was apprised of the “discrepancies” on dates of completion of the work.
During the hearing today, advocate Aparajita Singh, assisting the court as an amicus curiae, said there was no issue in NHAI’s work as far as Eastern Peripheral Expressway was concerned, but the “problem” was with the work on Western Peripheral Expressway in Haryana.
She said Haryana was not willing to give an undertaking in this regard that the work would be completed by June this year.
The bench, on hearing the brief submissions, listed the matter for further proceedings in April.
In December last year, the NHAI had informed the apex court that hurdles in the construction of the Eastern Peripheral Expressway were resolved in a “satisfactory manner” in Uttar Pradesh.
The UP government had earlier informed the top court that work on a 25-km stretch of the under-construction Eastern Peripheral Expressway in Ghaziabad, which was stalled following protests by farmers, had resumed.
The court, which has been hearing a 1985 plea filed by environmentalist M C Mehta on various issues including vehicular pollution, had asked the Centre in 2005 to build a peripheral expressway around Delhi by July 2016 to decongest and “de-pollute” the national capital.
The two expressways were planned in 2006 following the top court’s order to build a ring road outside the national capital for channelling non-Delhi bound traffic bypassing the city.