An eight-lane tunnel will soon be built in the national capital, connecting three major national highways in the city. With an estimated cost of around Rs 2000 crore, the construction of the mega tunnel will start in May 2023. With around 14 metre width, this will be one of the widest tunnels in the country and the first eight-lane underground pass.
The five-kilometre tunnel in South West Delhi will connect the national highways – Dwarka Expressway, Delhi-Jaipur and Nelson Mandela Highway. Once it becomes operational, more than three lakh vehicles will be able to use this tunnel daily. It is expected to decongest several highly-packed roads including the Delhi-Gurugram border highway.
The tunnel will start from Nelson Mandela Road in Vasant Kunj to Shiv Murti Chowk on NH-48 (old NH-8 Delhi-Jaipur), where the Dwarka Expressway is being constructed. It will connect NH-48 to the Vasant Kunj flyover on Nelson Mandela Marg (NH-148 AE). This will help reduce the load on NH-48.
Vehicles proceeding to Gurgaon can take the left turn at the intersection at Shiv Murti on Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway to join the expressway while others can seamlessly get on to the upcoming Dwarka Expressway to head towards Manesar or Chandigarh. Also, vehicles to Terminal-3 of Delhi airport can take the right turn from the intersection and reach the airport without stopping anywhere.
It is also estimated that the distance of all three highways will be reduced by about 8 km with the commissioning of the tunnel.
According to the NHAI officials, the diameter of the tunnel will be around 13.8 meter and it will have electro-mechanical, ventilation, fire and safety systems. It will be of twin tube configuration where one tunnel will be used for up and the other for down traffic. There will be cross passages and laybys at every 500 and 750 meters respectively.
After getting approval from the union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has already start started the administrative procedures prior to the construction.
As per the Detail Project Report (DPR), the construction work will be completed within four years. The maintenance and repair work will be done by the construction agency for ten years from the date of the opening of the tunnel for traffic.