The Union government finally accepted Punjab Government's proposal to convert the Punjab stretch of Delhi-Amritsar-Katra Expressway into a Greenfield project by providing a direct spur from Nakodar, onward to the five historic towns of Sultanpur Lodhi, Goindwal Sahib, Khadoor Sahib and Tarn Taran, leading up to Amritsar.
Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways of India, Nitin Gadkari, conveyed this to Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh during a Video Conference (VC) on Tuesday afternoon.
Amarinder Singh had raised the issue with the Union government, 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, Tarntaran. Also, the original proposal of the National Highway Authority of India (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 the Chief Minister 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-I 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 & Gurdaspur) as a Greenfield project, along with development of existing NH-3 from Kartarpur (junction of proposed Expressway with Jalandhar-Amritsar road NH-3) to Amritsar bypass as a 6-lane Access Controlled Expressway, as a Brownfield project.
To speed up the process of land acquisition for the new Greenfield alignment, the Chief Minister has agreed to an early meeting between NHAI and State government authorities, as suggested by Gadkari.
Giving details, an official spokesperson of Punjab government 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 Rajasasi Airport.
This alignment, covering about 100 kms, will connect the five religious towns established by five Sikh Gurus –Sultanpur Lodhi (Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji), Goindwal Sahib (Sri Guru Amardas Ji), Khadoor Sahib (Sri Guru Angad Dev Ji), Tarn Taran (Sri Guru Arjan Dev Ji) and Amritsar (Sri Guru Ramdas Ji).
The Expressway project is being executed by NHAI with assistance of Feedback Infra. The original alignment approved by the State 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.