New Delhi: The government on Wednesday announced it will build a six-lane expressway, estimated to cost Rs 20,000 crore, between Ludhiana and the national capital.

"Three states Delhi, Punjab and Haryana on Wednesday in principle accorded approval to build 357 km Delhi-Ludhiana Expressway, route map for which would be finalised by next month," Road Transport and Highways Minister C P Joshi told reporters here after a meeting with Ministers from three states.

An expressway is a controlled-access highway designed exclusively for high-speed traffic. "The cost of the expressway per km would be about Rs 40 crore and Rs 5,000 crore would be incurred on land acquisition," Joshi said.

Joshi said townships would develop alongside of the expressway nodes from which traffic would be allowed to exit. "We would discuss the cross subsidy model from real estate for funding the project once the alignment is finalised," he said.

Joshi added that Cabinet had earlier approved building an expressway from Delhi to Chandigarh but given demands from
states, it has been decided now to re-align the project from Delhi to Ludhiana with a link to Chandigarh.

"The Delhi to Ludhiana stretch would be 266 km while there would a 91 km spur connecting Chandigarh. The alignment for this is likely to be finalised in a month's time followed by financing model for the project," Joshi said.

He added that the Ministry would seek Cabinet approval after a detailed project report is in place. "We have also appointed PWD Secretaries of the three states as the nodal officers for the expressway project," he said.

This would be the second expressway after Delhi-Jaipur Expressway, for which the alignment has already been finalised. "The financial model for the Delhi-Jaipur expressway would be ready shortly as we have taken on board the state governments of Delhi, Rajasthan and Haryana," the Minister said.

The government has already decided to build seven expressways under the flagship highways building programme NHDP VI. The remaining five projects are - 400 km Vadodara-Mumbai, 66 km Delhi-Meerut, Delhi-Agra, 277 km Bangalore-Chennai and 334 km  Kolkata-Dhanbad.

Earlier, Cabinet had accorded approval for building 1,000 km of expressways in the country in October 2011.


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