India wants to further expand its expressway network by 2024 and plans to open five new expressways in the next 12 months. Union Minister Nitin Gadkari has assured to commission some new expressways soon, which the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has already said will be completed next year.
Some important highways will remain open to travelers until the summer of 2024 when Lok Sabha elections will be held. Here is the list of upcoming highways expected to be completed by 2024.
1. Dwarka Expressway – Delhi
India’s first elevated urban highway is expected to open before the start of summer next year but has been delayed by several months due to restrictions on construction work. The expressway is completely ready and some improvements are being made before its formal inauguration.
Dwarka Expressway, also known as Northern Peripheral Road, is 29 kilometers long. It connects Gurugram, Haryana to Delhi. The route starts from Shiv-Murti on NH-8 or Delhi-Gurugram Expressway and ends at Dwarka Sector 21, passing through Gurugram border and Basai at Khedki Daula Toll Plaza. About 19 km of the expressway is in Haryana, while Delhi has the remaining 10 km.
The expressway will give passengers another way to reach Indira Gandhi International Airport and reduce traffic on National Highway 8 by about 50%.
2. Delhi-Mumbai Expressway
The Delhi-Mumbai Expressway, which connects the national capital and the business capital of the country, is set to be completed next year. Gadkari said the expressway should be completely ready and operational by February next year. Currently, the first section of the highway is open between Sohna in Haryana and Dausa in Rajasthan, which is approximately 209 kilometers long.
The 1,386 km expressway will pass through five states (Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra). The shortest route in Delhi is nine kilometres, while the bulk of the expressway in Gujarat will be 423 kilometres. The expressway will reduce the Delhi-Mumbai distance by 180 kilometres, taking only 12 hours instead of the earlier 24 hours.
3. Delhi-Amritsar-Katra Expressway
With the construction of this new expressway, the journey from Delhi to Amritsar will be reduced by four hours. NHAI estimates that the Delhi-Amritsar-Katra Expressway, which is 669 km long, will be operational by the end of next year. It claims to reach Katra from Delhi in about six hours over a short distance of 58 kilometres. The expressway will connect several religious places like the Golden Temple in Amritsar, Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Tarn Taran and Vaishno Devi in Katra.
4. Bengaluru-Chennai Expressway
Even before the Delhi-Mumbai Expressway is fully operational, a new expressway is going to connect the two big cities of India. As Nitin Gadkari had said a few months ago, the 262 km long Bengaluru-Chennai Expressway is likely to open next year. National Expressway 7 (NE7) is being built by NHAI at a cost of Rs 17,000 crore.
The minister said that the travel would be quicker than flying and the travel time between the two cities would not exceed just two hours. The speed of light vehicles on the expressway will be 120 km/h.
5. Delhi-Dehradun Expressway
At present, the final phase of the Delhi-Dehradun Expressway is being built, which will be inaugurated soon. With this, the distance from Delhi to Dehradun will be reduced to less than three hours. The eco-sensitive area of Rajaji National Park is the last 20 kilometer stretch of the Delhi-Dehradun Expressway. NHAI is building Asia’s longest elevated wildlife corridor with a 340 meter long black tunnel.