Efforts on to complete 82km DME by January 2020: Nitin GadkariUpdated: Sep 30, 2019 23:19 IST
Union Minister of Road Transport & Highways Nitin Gadkari on Monday formally inaugurated the 22-km phase 3 of the Delhi-Meerut Expressway (DME) project and said that the efforts were on to complete the entire 82-km project by January 2020.
The phase 3 is the second of the four-phase project to become operational. The entire project is pegged at ₹6,273 crore and will provide much needed connectivity from Delhi to areas like Meerut.
The minister arrived at Pilkhuwa on Monday where he formally inaugurated section that connects Dasna in Ghaziabad to Hapur. Phase 1 section from Delhi’s Akshardham to UP Gate was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in May 2018.
According to officials of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) phase 2 of the DME — stretching from UP Gate to Dasna — is 60% complete in terms of physical progress, while phase 4 — connecting Dasna to Meerut — is about 57% complete.
“The DME is the growth engine and will turn out to be a life changing highway project. While the officials estimate that the remaining two phases (phase 2 and 4) will get completed in March 2020, we are still trying to complete these by January 2020. There are some land issues which we are trying to resolve,” Gadkari said.
Nagendra Nath Sinha, NHAI chairman, also raised pending issues before UP’s deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya who was also present at the inauguration. Maruya assured that all such issues will be taken up and that it will not hamper the progress of the project.
Gadkari added that the project being undertaken is aimed at reducing pollution. He said that a major stretch under phase 2 of the DME project has used waste plastic in the construction. The NHAI is also conducting a 1-km pilot project near Indirapuram in Ghaziabad that uses waste plastic in road construction.
“The use of waste plastic will help reduce garbage in cities and will also provide eco-friendly solution for their disposal. I have asked officials to mandatorily mix 8% of waste plastic for road constructions related to projects under PM Gram Sadak Yojna, district roads, state highways as well as those taken up by NHAI. This will help environment and ecology,” he added.
Gadkari said that road projects worth ₹55,000 to ₹60,000 crore were being undertaken which will help reduce various kinds of pollution.
“The Western and Eastern ring roads around Delhi have reduced the air pollution by about 29%. We are also doing other works which are about ₹60,000 crore. The projects also include 13 works of about ₹5,000 crore for river Yamuna which will also help reduce water pollution,” he added.
Gadkari also spoke about the proposed Gurugram to Mumbai highway and said that the project will help reduce travel time to just 14 hours. He said that the ministry saved about ₹16,000 crore on account of land acquisition and the proposed highway will move through the backward and tribal areas of different states like UP, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh among others.
The minister also spoke about the concept of ‘double decker’ buses which will run on separate corridors. He said it would be taken up by private enterprises and will be able to connect major cities like Lucknow, Kanpur, Ludhiana, Jaipur, etc to Delhi.
“The concept will be like on the lines of any private airline. It will have an executive class along with an economy class. The per kilometre cost of metro is about ₹350 crore while for this project it would be about ₹5 crore per kilometre,” he added.
First Published: Sep 30, 2019 23:19 IST