New link road to cut snarls on NH-8, boost Delhi connectivity

GURUGRAM: Soon, there will be another road connecting Gurugram and Delhi, offering a shorter route for commuters from Dwarka, Najafgarh and west Delhi to Gurugram. Huda hope to construct this road, which will connect to Najafgarh-Bijwasan road and is part of Gurugram’s Masterplan 2031, by Diwali this year.

“A budget of Rs 6 crore has been sanctioned for the project. Construction will begin by the month-end and take around two months to complete. The deadline is planned around end-October or early-November this year, revealed sources,” said Huda administrator Chandrashekhar Khare.


On Saturday and Sunday, Huda officials demolished around two dozen constructions, including residential and commercial properties and boundary walls of farmhouses located on Raghopur road, which runs between sectors 114 and 115. These structures had encroached upon the acquired land, which was meant for building a road connecting Gurugram and Delhi. “The road was planned as per Masterplan around a decade ago. However, property owners had approached court, which ordered a stay, which has now been lifted. Therefore, we have begin the demolition drive and also planning construction work,” said Mukesh Solanki, estate officer 2, Huda.

Huda’s enforcement wing has already handed over the land to the engineering wing to study and plan the construction of the road as per the Masterplan.

Huda cleared a passage of around 1.3km, on which the authority intends to build the road by year-end. In Gurugram, the road will commence from the road dividing sectors 114 and 115, and end where it merges with Najafgarh-Bijwasan road near Delhi-Gurugram border. From there, it will go to Sector 12, Dwarka, in Delhi.

The road is expected to divert vehicles that travel between Gurugram and Dwarka, Najafgarh and parts of west and south-west Delhi, via the Delhi-Gurugram expressway. Thus, it is expected to reduce volume of traffic on the highway. Notably, merging traffic is one of the major reasons for the choke points on Delhi-Gurugram expressway at Rangpuri and Rajokri during rush hours.

The road will reduce travel time for commuters, as they will have a shorter route to enter Gurugram and reach their destination. The link road will offer an alternative to over a thousand vehicles, especially since Dwarka expressway won’t be complete for at least another year. Residents of Gurugram in Dwarka Expressway, New Palam Vihar, Palam Vihar and new sectors will also be able to reach these parts of Delhi faster.

“Encroachments falling on the alignment have been cleared. As per development plan, it’s an approved road,” said H S Jakhar, subdivisional engineer (enforcement), Huda.

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Blackstone to list its office assets in REIT with embassy

reuters-blackstoneThe Blackstone Group, the world’s largest real estate private equity firm, is planning to list its own marquee income-producing commercial assets in India and office properties jointly owned with the Embassy Group under its Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT), two people with direct knowledge of the matter said.

The REIT, registered in 2017 as Embassy Office Parks, is sponsored by Blackstone and Bengaluru-based realty developer Embassy Property Developments. It is currently in the process of filing the draft red herring prospectus for the REIT.

The Blackstone-Embassy alliance is expected to raise around $1 billion (Rs 6,850 crore) through this issue, which will be India’s maiden REIT. The papers are likely to be filed over the next couple of weeks.

“Blackstone is adding a few of its own assets in Mumbai, the Delhi-National Capital Region and Pune to the portfolio, a part of which will be listed as a REIT,” said one of the people. “With a fundraising estimate of around $1 billion, the portfolio would value at over $5 billion.”

The addition of Blackstone’s own prime assets across three major property markets would expand the size of the portfolio being considered for the proposed listing.With this move Blackstone is putting together integrated office parks and city-centre buildings in the REIT.

Embassy Office Parks owns around 35 million sq ft office space in Bengaluru and Pune. Most of these office properties are fully leased and occupied.

The assets to be added to this portfolio include the 247 Park in Mumbai’s Vikhroli suburb and Blackstone’s 50% ownership in First International Financial Center (FIFC) in Mumbai’s Bandra-Kurla Complex business district.

Blackstone and the Embassy Group declined to comment.

The US-based private equity firm and Embassy have roped in Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, Kotak Mahindra Bank and JPMorgan among others as the bankers for the issue.

Over the past few years, Blackstone has emerged as the most aggressive institutional investor in India’s real estate sector, picking up properties across major cities in deals that are turning out to be benchmarks in the sector. It owns India’s biggest portfolio of income-producing office assets, totalling more than 110 million sq ft across the property markets of Mumbai, Noida, Pune and Bengaluru.

In addition to its own assets, it holds stake in properties through joint investment platforms with developers including the Embassy Group, Pune-based Panchshil Group, Mumbai’s K Raheja Corp and the Salarpuria Sattva Group of Hyderabad.

In March, Blackstone formed its latest alliance with Indiabulls Real Estate by creating a joint venture platform by acquiring 50% in the developer’s prime commercial office-space assets in the heart of Mumbai for an enterprise value of Rs 9,500 crore. The deal represented Blackstone’s largest transaction in India.

Large global institutional investors, including Blackstone, Brookfield Asset Management, GIC, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Ascendas-Singbridge and Qatar Investment Authority have been investing aggressively in Indian real estate assets over the past few years.

In addition to these, more funds are eyeing investment and alliance opportunities in the backdrop of recent policy reforms in the country. While such entities had earlier shown interest in investing in commercial real estate, they are increasing their investment portfolios in the backdrop of the opening up of an avenue for monetisation through REITs.

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Dwarka expressway connecting Delhi and Gurugram will be ready in 18 months

The Dwarka Expressway, which runs from Mahipalpur in Delhi to Kherki Daula in Gurugram, will help decongest the Delhi-gurgaon Expressway and bring relief to the lakhs of homebuyers who have invested in housing projects along the expressway.


The 29-km Dwarka Expressway will be ready within the next 18 months, Gurugram Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA) CEO V Umashankar said on Friday.

“All obstacles have been removed,” he said at an event.

The Dwarka Expressway, which runs from Mahipalpur in Delhi to Kherki Daula in Gurugram, will help decongest the Delhi-gurgaon Expressway and bring relief to the lakhs of homebuyers who have invested in housing projects along the expressway.

The project was stuck due to problems in land acquisition at New Palam Vihar and Kherki Daula. The Haryana urban development authority (Huda) had issued notices to 50 homeowners in New Palam Vihar Sector 110 and Kherki Daula in Sector 84 whose properties were on the land required for the new highway. They were told to vacate their houses within 24 hours or face demolition. Huda started demolishing houses on Saturday, the same day when the Punjab and Haryana high court stayed the demolition drive. However, by the time the court issued the stay order, 25 homes had already been demolished.


On Tuesday, the high court ordered Huda to allot alternative plots to even those evictees who do not have sale deeds, effectively plot owners with the general and special power (GPA/ SPA) of attorney.

Observing “the urgency of utilising the land for a project of national importance”, the HC ordered Huda to allot alternative plots by June 5.

Huda administrator Chander Shekar Khare said that a list those eligible for alternative plots was being prepared.

“We will send the list to headquarters (in Panchkula) tomorrow. Once the allotment process is complete, the land will be handed over to the NHAI (National Highways Authority of India) for the construction of Dwarka Expressway,” Khare said on Thursday.

Though Khare did not provide a date for allotment of plots, he claimed that Huda was “trying its best”.

The evictees, however, are not happy.

They said the demolition drive was illegal as they have not been allotted plots as per the terms of an out-of-court settlement they had reached with the Huda in 2015.

“It’s been three years since we were promised plots in Sector 110-A. We were also supposed to get a six-month window to build homes on these plots before being asked to vacate our homes,” said 28-year-old Sushobhan, an IT professional who lives in New Palam Vihar.

The residents also alleged that the demolition drive started on May 26, several hours before the 24-hour ultimatum served to them by Huda was to expire.

“A police contingent was also present to make sure the drive was carried out without interference from the residents,” said Puran Chand, 58, who has been living in New Palam Vihar for over a decade.

Another resident, 40-year-old Vishnu Dutt Sharma, pointed out that the notices were issued in accordance with Section 18 of the Huda Act, 1977 (power to evict persons from premises of authority), which contradicted the promises made to residents in the 2015 agreement.

“Now, most of us are living in rented homes. There is no clarity,” Sharma said.

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Narendra Modi inaugurates two expressways, says infra key priority

PM Narendra Modi inaugurates Delhi-Meerut Expressway and Eastern Peripheral Expressway, says highway construction has reached 27km/day

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said that infrastructure was a key priority sector and his government spent over Rs3 trillion on national highways alone, besides allocating Rs5 trillion for the Bharatmala project, aimed at improving road connectivity across the country.

Modi was addressing a rally at Uttar Pradesh’s Baghpat after inaugurating two important highways—the first phase of the 14-lane Delhi-Meerut Expressway and the Eastern Peripheral Expressway.

The PM said that infrastructure was a priority because it did not discriminate against people on the basis of class, caste or gender, and strengthens his commitment to Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikaas.

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He said all the four modes of transport – highways, railways, airways and inland waterways – are making rapid progress. “Highway construction has reached 27 km per day as against the 12 km per day recorded during the Congress regime.” Modi added a day will come when products manufactured in Uttar Pradesh will be directly transported to sea ports through inland waterways.

Regarding sugarcane dues in Uttar Pradesh which has become a political issue in the upcoming Kairana bypoll, the PM said his government is sensitive to the famers’ plight and has taken adequate steps to provide proper prices for their crop. He also lauded the efforts of Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath, stating that criminals in the state are now surrendering and pledging not to indulge in illegal activities.

The Eastern Peripheral Expressway was built at a cost of Rs 11,000 crore to decongest Delhi’s traffic, while the Delhi-Meerut Expressway will reduce the commuting between the two cities from four hours to 45 minutes, once completed.

The two projects aimed at reducing travel time and decongest Delhi have several new features, including solar power, auto-challans for over-speeding, tolling for distance travelled and weigh-in-motion equipment to stop entry of over-loaded vehicles, water harvesting and fountains.

Notably, on 10 May, the apex court had directed the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to open the EPE for the public by 31 May, even if it failed to get the project inaugurated by the Prime Minister. The Eastern and the Western Peripheral Expressways were planned in 2006 following a Supreme Court order to divert traffic bound for destinations other than the national capital.

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Speaking on the occasion, minister for transport and highways Nitin Gadkari said that the EPE will reduce pollution by 27% and traffic jams by 41% in Delhi. He lauded the work of the NHAI officials, stating the highway was built in a record 500 days.

On India’s first 14-lane highway, Gadkari said his ministry will try to complete the Delhi-Meerut expressway by March 2018. The two-project will be a relief for people across Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Haryana, Uttrakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.

Gadkari also announced that the Delhi-Saharanpur Highway will be built on the EPE pattern and the foundation stone of the Rs7,000-crore Dwarka Expressway will soon be laid by the PM.

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