Delhi-Mumbai Expressway: First drive experience with a Volkswagen Jetta

Having driven on autobahns and autostradas, I would rate the expressway a 7/10.

BHPian vinayrathore recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Was lucky to have travelled on this expressway from Dausa to Sohna on 13th Feb 2023. Let me begin with some overall details and also the placement of this expressway and what it takes for someone who wants to travel from Jaipur to Delhi or vice versa.

Well, as we all know, this stretch is part of the grander Delhi-Vadodara-Mumbai Expressway christened NE-04 which is slated to be completely operational by March 2023. The sole motive of this expressway is to connect the two metros of Delhi and Mumbai in the shortest possible manner both in terms of distance and time. Hence it is almost a straight line if you plot this on the map. This is one reason it does not get its alignment to pass near any other major city apart from Vadodara which too I reckon is to avoid the Sahyadri ranges and also to supplement the already operational Vadodara Ahmedabad Expressway or NE01 as seen in the map I tried to plot below.

Now let’s talk about the expressway’s alignment to Jaipur or the lack of it. Well, for now, it’s connected via the Jaipur Agra Highway NH 21 (Old NH 11) near Dausa. This makes it approximately 70 Kms or 1.5 hours away from the Jaipur City Center. There is a separate greenfield spur that will connect the Expressway to Jaipur directly also under work and the contract has already been awarded for the same. This should make access from Jaipur slightly smoother and faster.

New Greenfield spurs under works.

Coming to my travel, I had plans to start early in the day so as to reach the Dausa intersection by early afternoon but got late and could start only by 3 pm from Jaipur home. Our place is on the outskirts but totally on the opposite end therefore had to cross the entire city from west to east. Thankfully traffic was mild and could touch the Ghat ki Guni Tunnel within 30~40 mins and took another hour to reach Dausa partly thanks to a few interceptors I encountered early on. Not that I tend to overspend, but the limits are enforced in a manner that it’s difficult to keep a tab on the current limit so you end up driving a tad bit slow.

My route from home till Sohna intersection. “National Highway 21” marked on the map is the intersection point near Dausa.

On a related note, Highway Traffic police in RJ is always on overdrive with speed cameras and this stretch was no different. You can find one of the highest concentrations of speed cams on the NH 48 stretch of the Delhi Jaipur Highway between Behror and Jaipur. So much so that you will see one interceptor Car or Bike every few kms. But that’s a story for another thread.

As I crossed the Dausa bypass, I stopped for a quick tea break as was not sure I would get anything once I am on the expressway. Tea and water loaded, I would rather let the pictures do the talking from here on.

NH 21 near Dausa. Can be sparred like this,

Or a sudden rush of traffic, two-wheelers and otherwise.

First sight of the Expressway once you cross Dausa Bypass

My Jetta stretched its legs after a long long time. My Cruise Control was set to 120 KMPH entirely barring some bursts of speed in between.

Let’s talk a bit about surface quality. Well, I have driven on some of the world’s best highways (no boasting that is) from Autobahns to Autostradas. So if Autobahns where even 200 km/h feels like 80 km/h on the best Indian road surface is rated at 10, I would rate the NE04 somewhere around 7. Comparatively, the surface quality is not very smooth, expansion joints still give jolts and there are undulations which will give cars with soft suspension some scary moments at the max speed limit. Having said the above, all the other good roads in India (NE01 Ahmedabad Vadodara, NE02 the EPE, NE03 the Delhi Meerut expressway or even the Mumbai Pune Expressway) can be rated at 5 or at best 6. And the best thing about the surface is that it’s all tarmac and not concrete.

Another break at sunset as I neared the Sohna intersection.

This road merges with the Gurugram-Sohna Expressway which connects further to Rajiv Chowk. It’s another 60 Kms before you hit Delhi which in traffic it can take anywhere from 1 to 1.5 hours.

All in all, it took me 1.5 + 2 + 1 = 4.5 hours home to home which is not bad compared to the regular NH48 where it takes anywhere between 4.5 to 7 hours depending on the time of day and traffic conditions. And not to mention the stress you get from crazy truck drivers, local traffic and last but not least the huge moon craters that take a bad toll on your vehicle as well.

Hope that gives some perspective to the fellow BHPians. Signing off for now.

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