All you need to know about Delhi-Meerut Expressway, Eastern Peripheral Expressway
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday inaugurated the Delhi-Meerut Expressway which is expected to bring down the time to commute between national capital and Meerut to 45 minutes. Later in the day, PM Modi also launched the Eastern Peripheral Expressway, India’s first smart and green highway.
The opening of the two expressways is likely to significantly improve road communication in and around Delhi. Speaking to PTI, road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari spelt out the features and facilities of the two highways. Here is a list:
Eastern Peripheral Expressway
•The 135-km Eastern Peripheral Expressway, built at a cost of ₹11,000 crore, has several unique features and is India’s first highway to be lit by solar power besides provisions of rain water harvesting on every 500 metres on both sides and would showcase 36 national monuments and 40 fountains, the minister said, adding it has been completed in a record 500 days.
•There are eight solar power plants on this expressway having a capacity of 4000-kilo watt (4 MW).
•The state-of-the-art road will have auto challans for over-speeding, as cameras will capture speed of vehicles, besides it will have provisions of tolling only for the distance travelled. The expressway has an iconic toll plaza at the entry point on Kundli side besides digital art gallery.
•It is equipped with smart and intelligent highway traffic management system (HTMS) and video incident detection system (VIDS) and will set a benchmark in highway construction by being environment-friendly with world-class safety features and smart/interactive infrastructure.
•The foundation stone of the greenfield project was laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 5, 2015.
Gadkari told PTI 2.5 lakh trees have been planted here including transplant of 8-10 year old trees and drip irrigation provision has been done.
•It has consumed 11 lakh tonnes of cement, 1 lakh tonnes of steel, 3.6 crore cum earthwork and 1.2 cr cum fly-ash, the minister said, adding the project has generated employment opportunities of about 50 lakh man-days and 9,375 people was deployed here.
•A lot of traffic, outbound or non-destined for Delhi will be diverted. At least 50,000 vehicles going to Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan will be diverted, bringing down vehicular pollution.
•The alignment of EPE starts near Kundli and passes through six parliamentary constituencies, viz Sonepat, Baghpat, Ghaziabad, Noida, Faridabad and Palwal.
•The fully access controlled six-lane expressway provides entry and exit designated interchanges only and has 406 structures of which 4 are major bridges, 46 minor bridges, 3 flyovers, 7 inter-changes, 221 underpasses and 8 road over bridges (ROBs).
•The amenities include retail fuel outlets, rest rooms, motels, restaurants, shops etc. Some of the monuments’ replicas pertain to Ashoka Lion, Ashoka Chakra, Konark Temple, Jalianwala Bagh, Gateway of India, Qutab Minar, Char Minar, Lal Quila, Kirti Stambh, India Gate, Hawa Mahal and Gujarat Carving.
•The project had earlier faced resistance from farmers over land and other issues which have since been solved by giving higher compensation.
•The Eastern and the Western Peripheral Expressways were planned in 2006 following the apex court’s order to build a ring road outside the national capital for channelling the traffic not bound for Delhi.
Unique features of Delhi-Meerut Expressway
• The first phase of the Delhi-Meerut Expressway cost ₹842 crore on building the 9-km stretch of 14-lane highway, according to an advertisement released by the government on the project. The total cost of the project on completion would be ₹7,500 crore.
•The Delhi-Meerut Expressway will cut travel time between Delhi and Meerut to 45 minutes from two-and-half hour now.
•This is the first bridge in the country that have vertical gardens with solar power system and drip irrigation. Beautiful lighting system has also been developed on the major structures.
•The total length of the project is 82 km, of which the first 27.74 kms will be 14-laned, while the rest will be a six-lane expressway.
•A cycle track that is 2.5 metre wide, on the nearly 28-km stretch between Delhi and Dasna, has also been constructed on both the sides of this expressway, which also has provision of 1.5 metre footpath on each side for pedestrians.
*The expressway will do away with 31 traffic signals on the Delhi-Meerut road, the busiest highway in the region, and make it signal free.
•The scheduled time period for the construction of this project was 30 months whereas the project has been completed in 17 months.
(With PTI inputs)