Enabling Delhi’s Mega Infrastructure Projects: The Project Monitoring Group Story
A key driver for the Indian economy, infrastructure development is crucial to propel India’s momentum towards the goal of a $ 10 trillion economy. The Project Monitoring Group (PMG) seeks to accelerate the construction of vital infrastructure projects by liberalising the planning system and streamlining consultation and approval requirements.
Since April 2022, PMG has successfully facilitated the resolution of 1408 issues spanning across the categories of land acquisition, environmental clearances, Right of Way/Use and others. Expeditious resolution of issues is at the core of timely commissioning of projects and PMG’s mandate towards facilitating resolution of regulatory bottlenecks is expected to give momentum to India attaining world class infrastructure.
Road & Highways:
The Urban Extension Road (UER) II is an alternative third ring road of Delhi with a total length of 75.71 km. The project connects NH-1, NH-10 and NH-8, passing through Dwarka, Najafgarh and Rohini and will act as an additional western ring road in Delhi, thereby decongesting the NH 1 section between Mukarba Chowk and Singhu Border. The project is envisaged to provide an alternative route for the traffic generating from West Delhi, South Delhi, IGI Airport, Gurgaon and destined towards NH 1, Chandigarh, Punjab, and Jammu & Kashmir, thereby bypassing inner & outer ring road, Dhaula Kuan and Mukaraba Chowk. It would also provide connectivity to the proposed IICC in Dwarka. In other words, the project is of crucial importance for decongesting the capital city and its suburban areas.
The PMG Team has been actively monitoring key road projects in Delhi including the UER and the Dwarka Expressway, engaging with critical stakeholders to expedite issues affecting timely commissioning of these projects.
One of the major issues that was hindering the progress of work at the main carriageway of Package III was the presence of 3 structures (falling in the village Roshanpura, South West Delhi). These structures were affecting a 100m project alignment, out of the total length of 9.66 Km. It is pertinent to mention that despite the land being already acquired by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), the delay in demolition of these structures had adversely affected the work on Package III.
The PMG Team assisted NHAI in escalating the issue across various levels of the State and Central Government including the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) and the Cabinet Secretariat, for immediate action on the issue. Additionally, the PMG Team also conducted a field visit to gain an on-site visualization of the issue and with regular follow-ups and necessary due diligence ensured that the issue remained a top priority for the State Government. As a result of consistent reviews, the issue has finally been resolved and work on the main carriageway has commenced.
The Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS) is envisaged as a new, dedicated, high speed, high capacity, comfortable commuter service connecting regional nodes in the National Capital Region (NCR)—Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut. It is different from conventional railway as it plans to provide reliable, high frequency, point-to-point regional travel at high speed along a dedicated pathway. What differentiates it from the metro is the fact that it is set to cater to passengers looking to travel relatively longer distances with fewer stops, at a higher speed.
A critical issue that was flagged by the Implementing Agency, the National Capital Region Transport Corporation (NCRTC) was the pending allotment of 5MHz (paired) in 700MHz band spectrum. Here, it was decided that allocation of new spectrum of 5MHz (paired) in 700MHz band will be made to NCRTC/Metros expeditiously for which Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) was requested to commence consultation process. As an interim measure, NCRTC was allocated 1.4MHz (paired) spectrum presently allocated to Indian Railways for Global System for Mobile Communications – Railway (GSM-R), in 900MHz band for setting up LTE network to enable commissioning of priority section. However, expeditious allotment of 5MHz (paired) spectrum was stated as necessary for the timely commissioning of the entire corridor.
Accordingly, TRAI issued the consultation paper on 09.06.2022 where comments from the stakeholders were received. An Open House Discussion was also held on 25.08.2022 in this regard. The PMG Team regularly followed up with Department of Telecommunications and held multiple review meetings to ensure that the matter was being considered on priority by the concerned officers. Additionally, PMG Team met with the NCRTC officials to understand the project and its issues better and visited some of the critical portions of the project like the Anand Vihar, Ghaziabad and Guldhar stations and the Duhai Depot to appreciate the on-ground progress.
The TRAI released recommendations on the same on 28.12.2022 recommending that 5 MHz (paired) spectrum in 700 MHz band be assigned to NCRTC for use in RRTS corridors along the railway tracks.
There is a compelling need for enhanced and improved delivery across the whole infrastructure spectrum to ensure economic growth, increase quality of life, and boost sectoral competitiveness, and PMG is actively engaging with stakeholders across the board to facilitate and accelerate the delivery of infrastructural projects to realise India’s true potential and deliver world-class infrastructure.