The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) on Tuesday decided to continue with the ongoing construction work on seven flyovers on the Jaipur-Ajmer national highway. The NHAI will write a letter to the state government requesting it to revoke the order of the collector.
On Monday, the collector had directed the NHAI to stop the construction work on these flyovers, stating that it was resulting in huge traffic congestion on the highway, following a meeting at the collectorate.
“Even if we stop the work, traffic won’t be able to move on the main highway until and unless the entire project is completed. Traffic would still have to be diverted to adjacent arterial roads. So, there is no point in stopping the project. We are going to request the state government to help us to complete the project within the stipulated deadline,” Harish Chandra, the project director of NHAI, told .
NHAI had spotted 10 black spots on the Jaipur-Kishangarh stretch – officially known as Kishangarh Expressway – on the NH-48. The agency had then planned to construct 10 flyovers at these black spots. Out of these, work on flyovers had started at seven locations. The construction work was to be completed in six to seven months. NHAI had claimed that after the completion of flyovers at 10 locations, travel time from Jaipur to Ajmer would be reduced to 1.5 to 2 hours.
“We had started work at seven locations in December 2022 and begun diverting traffic through the carriage ways at these places. On Monday, due to incessant rainfall, a portion of the carriageway at Mahlan crossing, where a state highway from Jobner meets the national highway, got damaged. This resulted in massive traffic congestion. Following this, a meeting was called by the district administration which gave this directive,” said a senior NHAI official.
NHAI officials alleged that the district administration was ‘unnecessarily’ putting pressure on NHAI and on this project from April 2023 by demanding that they cannot collect toll on Kishangarh Expressway, part of the NH-48, due to traffic congestion.
The Kishangarh Expressway was planned by NHAI in 2003. The agency entered into a build-operate-transfer (BOT) contract with a private firm for 20 years with a private firm which ended on April 10 this year.
“Since then, the district administration has started putting pressure on NHAI officials for unknown reasons. On July 4, a senior police official had written a letter to stop toll collection on this expressway. We had then sent him a reply that his demand was neither legitimate nor in the interest of the government and hence not acceptable,” the official said.