Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari on Sunday took to microblogging site ‘X’, formerly known as Twitter, to share a new video of India’s first eight lane elevated road, the Dwarka Expressway.
The 29.6 km Dwarka expressway is being built at a cost of ₹9000 crore will be almost completed in April 2024. Nitin Gadkari had earlier said the 34 meter wide expressway is being constructed on 18.9 km single pillar in Haryana and 10.1 km long in Delhi.
On Sunday, Gadkari on his ‘X’ post called the Dwarka Expressway a ‘marvel of engineering’. “Marvel of Engineering: The Dwarka Expressway! A State-of-the-Art Journey into the Future 🛣”, he wrote.
The video comes only days after Gadkari expressed dismay over the inadequate response to questions raised by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) which resulted in controversy over the cost of construction of Dwarka Expressway in Delhi.
Earlier in the month, a political row erupted on the CAG report which flagged the high cost of construction of the Dwarka Expressway.
Earlier the ministry sources had said that in the absence of an adequate response from the ministry and the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI), the CAG adopted an incorrect methodology for computing the cost of Dwarka Expressway.
They also explained that the CAG has simply divided the total cost of construction of ₹91,000 crore (expenditure) under National Corridor Efficiency Programme with the project’s entire length of 5,000 kilometres under development.
They had said the CAG has itself noted that the cost of construction of ₹18.2 crore per kilometre does not include the cost norms for flyovers, ring roads, etc.
They were of the view that the expressway in question has elevated roads, underpasses, tunnels and other components which were not part of the project.
The cost of ₹91,000 crore for 5,000 km under Bharatmala Phase-I project was finalised by the ministry on August 10, 2016, for the year 2016-17 to the extent possible.
The ministry sources had claimed that the government saved over 12 per cent in construction cost against estimates in awarding contracts for the expressway.
They pointed out that the CAG findings that the cost was exorbitant are misplaced as the auditor did not factor in the actual cost.
According to reports, the CAG had found that the NHAI decision to go for an elevated carriageway on the Haryana portion of the Dwarka Expressway pushed up the construction cost to ₹251 crore per kilometre from ₹18.2 crore per km estimated earlier.
The audit report on the implementation of Phase-I of the ‘Bharatmala Pariyojana’ highway projects, triggered a political row with the opposition parties alleging corruption in the process of awarding the project.
The ministry sources had explained that all four packages of Dwarka Expressway were put for tender at an average civil cost of ₹206.39 crore per kilometre but the contracts were finally awarded at a lower rate of ₹181.94 crore per km.
The average civil construction cost of the four packages of the expressway was 12 per cent lower than the estimates, they had said.
Source : Mint