New Delhi: National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) on Wednesday granted in-principle approval for construction of Delhi-Panipat and Delhi-Alwar Regional Rapid Transit Systems (RRTS) projects worth Rs53,500 crore, a government official said.

The 111-km Delhi-Sonipat-Panipat RRTS project is estimated to cost about Rs16,500 crore, while the 180 km Delhi-Rewari-Alwar line will cost about Rs37,000 crore.

“NHAI has in principle agreed to construction of these two projects along NH-1 and NH-8. NHAI also in-principle, agreed to take up the Urban Extension Road-2 which would help in easing traffic congestion in Delhi," the official said.

He said this was decided during a meeting between NHAI chairman Deepak Kumar and Housing and Urban Affairs secretary Durga Shanker Mishra in New Delhi .

DDA vice-chairman Uday Pratap Singh, National Capital Regional Transport Corporation (NCRTC) MD V.K. Singh and senior officials of the ministry and concerned organisations also attended the hour-long meeting.

A ground survey for aligning the two RRTS projects has already been done by NCRTC and building them along national highways would significantly reduce construction time by over three years besides bringing down costs substantially since land acquisition would not be required, the official quoted Mishra as saying in the meeting.

NHAI and NCRTC would jointly prepare an action plan after examining the issues related to future expansion plans and possible congestion and the options to address them, the official said.

During the meeting, Kumar conveyed in-principle agreement about NHAI taking up execution of Urban Extension Road-2 project aimed at decongesting Delhi by connecting three national highways, the official said.

A feasibility report in this regard would be prepared in a month’s time for further discussions, he added.