NHAI to assess damages on Delhi Meerut expressway before allowing vehicles

Published on Oct 30, 2021 12:07 AM IST

Earlier in September, the NHAI raised concerns about the maintenance issues related to the expressway as a result of the ongoing farmers’ protest

Cracks visible on a road at the farmer protest site in Ghazipur border near Ghaziabad on Friday. (Sakib Ali/HT photo)
Cracks visible on a road at the farmer protest site in Ghazipur border near Ghaziabad on Friday. (Sakib Ali/HT photo)

Officials of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) said on Friday commuting on the Delhi Meerut Expressway (DME) will be allowed only after they assess the condition of the expressway, which is currently heavily barricaded by the Delhi Police and is occupied by the farmers protesting against the three farm laws.

The Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) on Friday night issued a statement, saying that the ‘morcha’ (protest site) will continue and also appealed to farmers to reach UP-Gate.

The UP-Gate protest site falls under phase 2 of the DME and connects it with Dasna over a stretch of about 19.8kms. When HT team visited the expressway, it found cracks on the surface at the UP-Gate flyover.

Officials of NHAI said they will assess the damage to the roads and also the infrastructure at UP-Gate.

“The road will be open to commuters only after we assess the damages and take up road repairs and maintenance work. In the past, we have already apprised the Ghaziabad authorities in writing about the lack of maintenance resulting from the farmers protest at the expressway. The assessment will be taken up once the farmers vacate the roads,” said Mudit Garg, project director of NHAI.

“There has been damage to electricity cables; there has been no maintenance and inspection of the UP-Gate flyover due to the ongoing protest. During monsoon, the roads were flooded due to blocked drainage system. It has been almost 11 months now that we are facing these issues,” said Garg.

Earlier in September, the NHAI had raised concerns about the maintenance issues related to the expressway as a result of the ongoing farmers’ protest.

NHAI officials sought urgent intervention from the district authorities and also shot a letter to the Ghaziabad district magistrate and requested that the farmers be removed from the expressway with the help of the police.

“We are taking stock of the issues and also assessing the said loss/damage to the DME infrastructure. Suitable steps will be taken up,” said Ghaziabad district magistrate R K Singh.

Farmers camping at the UP-Gate protest site have been demanding rollback of the three new farm laws introduced by the Centre since November last year. They also occupied the Ghaziabad-Delhi carriageway since December and have put up their tents and dais at the site.

On Friday, the Delhi police also started removing barricades from the expressway. Officials said other barricades will also be removed.

Meanwhile, on Friday night, the BKU issued a statement appealed to farmers to reach the UP-Gate protest site in large numbers to strengthen the agitation.

“We appeal to farmers to reach Ghazipur (UP-Gate) site and strengthen the protest. We make it clear that the ‘morcha’ (protest) will continue and there will be no change. The police blocked the road after January 26 and they are trying to correct their mistake. The protest site will continue... There have been conspiracies against the protest and we must be ready to fight these,” said the statement issued by BKU on Friday night.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Peeyush Khandelwal writes on a range of issues in western Uttar Pradesh – from crime, to development authorities and from infrastructure to transport. Based in Ghaziabad, he has been a journalist for almost a decade.

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