Chandigarh [India], June 3 (ANI): The Centre on Tuesday agreed to convert the Punjab stretch of Delhi-Amritsar-Katra Expressway into a greenfield project by providing a direct spur from Nakodar, thereby acceding to the Punjab government's proposal in this regard.
The route will pass through five historic towns of Sultanpur Lodhi, Goindwal Sahib, Khadoor Sahib and Tarn Taran, leading up to Amritsar.
Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari conveyed the same to Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh during a video conference.
Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh had earlier raised the issue with the Centre, after local citizens and their representatives expressed concern over the project's failure to connect the religious and historical towns of Sultanpur Lodhi, Goindwal Sahib, Tarn Taran.
Also, the original proposal of the NHAI had entailed widening of the existing GT Road from Kartarpur to Amritsar as brownfield project, which was proving expensive as it would involve major demolitions due to land acquisition.
The Union Minister told Singh that after detailed deliberations with the state government officials and examination of all aspects of the proposal, the NHAI had approved the alignment of phase one of Delhi-Amritsar-Katra Expressway with Delhi-Gurdaspur section (entering the state near Khanauri and passing near the towns of Khanauri, Patran, Bhawanigarh, Ludhiana, Nakodar, Jalandhar Kartarpur, Qadian and Gurdaspur) as a greenfield project, along with the development of existing NH-3 from Kartarpur (junction of proposed Expressway with Jalandhar-Amritsar road NH-3) to Amritsar bypass as a six-lane access controlled expressway, as a brownfield project.
According to an official spokesperson, the Chief Minister has agreed to an early meeting between NHAI and state government authorities, as suggested by Gadkari.
Giving details, the spokesperson said the greenfield alignment will provide direct expressway connectivity to Amritsar, starting from village Kangsabu on Jalandhar Nakodar National Highway connecting Sultanpur Lodhi, Goindwal Sahib, Khadoor Sahib, Tarntaran and Amritsar and merging with Amritsar-Dera Baba Nanak road near Rajasansi Airport.
The original alignment approved by the governments of Punjab and Haryana was not favoured as it entailed longer route, making the toll road less viable. The revised alignment, finalised as per the NHAI proposal, spanned the Khanauri-Malerkotla-Ludhiana-Nakodar-Kartapur-Qadian-Gurdaspur-Pathankot areas, which would now change in view of the brownfield to greenfield conversion. (ANI)