Settle funding of expressways, SC tells Delhi, Haryana, UP

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New Delhi, Oct 18 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Friday asked the representatives of governments of Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana to hold consultations to sort out differences on the funding of Western and Eastern peripheral expressways, and also directed the Delhi government to release Rs 1,000 crore for the project.

A bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra and comprising Justice Deepak Gupta observed that the construction of the expressways will eventually benefit the government and the common man.

“It is for the benefit of everybody,” said the court.

The Delhi government counsel informed the apex court that the amount computed in 2005 was Rs 840 crore, but in the 14 years, the cost has escalated ten times. Though Delhi has already paid Rs 400 crore, the NHAI is asking for the 50 per cent of Rs 8,400 crore spent on the project so far. The Delhi government counsel told the court that Rs 4,200 crore is a large sum of money, and it cannot carve out funds to meet the NHAI’s demand. Uttar Pradesh and Haryana have already paid their share.

Initially, the apex court had asked the Delhi government to pay Rs 1,500 crore, but its counsel insisted on reducing the amount. The court then asked the Delhi government to pay Rs 1,000 crore.

The peripheral expressways around Delhi connecting NH-1 and NH-2 were envisaged to decongest the capital and also reduce the air pollution in the city.

The apex court has asked the Cabinet Secretary to work out a compromise, and also asked the Delhi government to pay some amount as an interim measure.

–IANS

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