Dwarka Highway status to give push to projects in limbo

Residential projects along the Dwarka Expressway in Gurgaon have had the ‘Work in Progress’ signboard for almost six years. Completion of the 18-km stretch has been primarily delayed due to land acquisition issues both in Gurgaon and Delhi.Projects along the Expressway are in various stages of construction – some almost complete, getting finishing touches; others still waiting for additional floors to be added.

 Union transport minister Nitin Gadkari’s announcement this week to accord national highway status to Dwarka Expressway at the recently concluded Happening Haryana summit offers hope to thousands of homebuyers who have invested here and are awaiting possession of their homes. Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar has fixed June 2017 as the final deadline for the road.

So, how will a national highway status work for Dwarka Expressway? Experts say completion of the expressway will be speeded up as it will now be controlled by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI).According to the Highways Act, after the transfer, Dwarka Expressway will come under a highway administrator appointed by the NHAI. Acquisition of land will also become quicker in Delhi and Gurgaon once Section 3 (d) of the National Highways Act is notified. Disputes pertaining to compensation will also get resolved more quickly when a road is built by NHAI.

Another question that remains to be answered is whether ‘noise’ being made around granting national highway status to the 150-metre wide stretch will have an impact on property prices? Prashant Kaura, founder and executive director, GenReal Property Advisers Private Limited, says that the market is currently depressed. Once the patches that have been held up due to land acquisition issues are developed and the highway is complete on the Haryana side, there may be some activity in the market. Right now, the few sales that are happening are being settled at sub Rs 6000 per sq ft.

Projects to benefit most from the NH status will be the ones along Khirki Duala to Palam Vihar area that comprise sectors 88, 89, 90, 102, 104 etc. Many developers are likely to time their completion and delivery with the completion of the expressway. These may be the first ones to witness an upside in prices (about 7% to 8%). What this means is that if the expressway gets completed by next year, around 10,000 units will be up for delivery along the stretch. Having said that, projects along the Delhi side (1.5 km stretch) may take much longer, at least two to three years more, adds Kaura.

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