Govt unveils Rs. 20,000cr Delhi-Ludhiana expressway
In its attempt to provide high speed connectivity to the northern states, the Centre has decided to build a new expressway connecting Delhi directly with Ludhiana involving a staggering investment of Rs. 20,000 crore. The new six-lane expressway with a length of 266km would branch out from outer Delhi and crisscross through Sonipat, Safidon, Asandh, Kaithal districts in Haryana and Samana and Nabha districts in Punjab. It would be similar to the existing Delhi-Jaipur expressway and is set to cut the traveling distance between Delhi and Ludhiana by 50km. In this connection, the road transport and highways ministry has recently convened a meeting of chief ministers of Delhi, Punjab and Haryana and all the three state governments have in agreement proposed that a stretch branching out from this expressway with a length of 91km will also have direct link to Chandigarh. The proposal to build a new highway with complete access control came from Punjab government considering the need to have high speed connectivity. Earlier, the Centre had announced the building of an expressway between Delhi and Chandigarh running parallel to the existing one.

According to sources, both Punjab and Haryana are pushing the new plan to provide better connectivity to cities in their respective states from the national capital, there are indications that these projects will have a huge impact on escalating property prices along the corridor and also accelerating urban development.  However, considering the manner in which getting land along the existing highway stretches was becoming difficult, the government has to build green field (new alignment) expressways for faster traffic movement. Meanwhile, the Centre is working on the Delhi-Jaipur expressway after finalizing its alignment and the plan to allow seven townships along the stretch. Badal and Hooda said that a decision has been taken to start the process of fixing alignment of the new expressway and also to carry out feasibility study and the financing models would be decided after mutual consultation at a later stage. Meanwhile all the three stake-holder states are appointing their PWD secretaries as nodal heads and ensuring financial viability of the project the government is also allowing townships development along the expressway with exclusive connectivity.