Commuters can now travel seamlessly from Gurugram to Sohna as the entire 21.65km-long Sohna elevated road has now been made available to the public after the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) opened the remaining 8.94km section between Rajiv Chowk and Badshahpur for traffic on a trial basis on Monday afternoon.
The elevated road has significantly reduced travel time between Gurugram and Sohna as now, commuters can easily avoid congested junctions, such as Vatika Chowk and Subhash Chowk, which fall on the stretch, and instead take the elevated road to reach their destinations. “Until earlier this year, it took at least an hour to cover the entire 21.65km stretch. Now, it will take commuters hardly 15-20 minutes to cover the entire stretch,” said an official spokesperson of the NHAI.
A 750m underpass at Subhash Chowk, which is also a part of the project, was also opened to vehicular traffic around 1pm on Monday. The 12.71km section of the project between Sohna and Badshahpur was opened for vehicular movement in April this year. “Keeping public convenience in mind, we opened the remaining section of the Sohna elevated road on the scheduled date of inauguration (Monday) on a trial basis. A formal inauguration of the project will happen very soon,” said P K Kaushik, project director of NHAI.
The inauguration of the project by Union minister for road transport and highways Nitin Gadkari was scheduled to take place on Monday but it was cancelled. According to a senior NHAI official overseeing the project, the minister on Sunday directed to open the remaining section without a formal inauguration. “The construction of the 8.94km finished around two weeks ago and all the requisite road quality and safety tests were completed in the interim,” said the official.
Gadkari took to his official Twitter account around 12:30pm on Monday informing the road will be opened for traffic. He stated that the elevated road is being developed as a six-lane stretch at an estimated cost of ₹2,000 crore and includes three service lanes on each side.
The minister also said that with an interchange at Alipur on the elevated road stretch, the project will serve as an important link for the Delhi-Mumbai Expressway. The elevated road also falls on the 130km route between Rajiv Chowk and Alwar in Rajasthan. It is expected to bring down the travel time to from three hours to just over two hours, said NHAI officials.
The NHAI spokesperson quoted above said the construction of the project commenced on January 1, 2019, and the original time period to complete the project was 30 months. “Due to interruptions in construction work arising from the Covid-19 pandemic, the deadline was later extended to June 30, 2022,” he said. Besides the pandemic, a 40m under-construction portion of the elevated road collapsed near Vipul Greens society in August 2020, which held up work for nearly two months.
Commuters were beyond elated to access the elevated road on the first day of its opening as it has reduced travel time to one-third of the time taken earlier to cover the distance.
“I took a drive on the newly opened elevated road…I reached Sohna from Rajiv Chowk in under 20 minutes. The same journey usually took an hour to complete, which sometimes crossed over 100 minutes during peak traffic hours,” said Harshit Shukla, a resident of Sector 70-A.