Uttarakhand chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat on Monday announced that the Centre has in principle approved the construction of a Delhi-Dehradun expressway that will reduce the travel time between the two cities from 5 to 2.5 hours.
He made the announcement after meeting the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) chairman SS Sandhu in Dehradun.
According to officials aware of the matter, the expressway is expected to be completed over the next three to five years. It will reduce the distance between Delhi and Dehradun from 258 km to 180 km. The expressway will pass through Ganeshpur, Mohand, and Ashkrodi in Uttarkhand and Saharanpur, Baghpat and Loni in Uttar Pradesh.
“The entire expressway will be elevated [higher than the ground level] and will have access control with toll plazas at different locations,” said an NHAI official on condition of anonymity. He added surveys on certain stretches of the proposed highway has started.
Rawat said the expressway will boost tourism and prove to be a milestone in Uttarakhand’s economy. “The state government will extend all possible help to the NHAI in the construction of the highway,” he said.
Rawat said the NHAI chairman has informed him that a tunnel will also be built at Mohand, which comes under the Rajaji National Park, to mitigate the impact on the wildlife.
CK Sinha, the NHAI’s regional director in Dehradun, said that the expressway’s stretch that will pass through Ganeshpur, Mohand and Asrodi in Uttarakhand will cost around Rs 1,600 to ₹2,000 crore. “The work is already on along some parts of the express highway. A stretch of the express highway passes through forests of UP for which we need many clearances related to wildlife and forests.”