5-km elevated section of Delhi-Meerut expressway opened, helps bypass Pilkhuwa
The bottlenecks for commuters travelling from Delhi, Ghaziabad and Noida towards Hapur and further ahead are set to reduce after the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) opened another 5km elevated section of the Delhi-Meerut Expressway (DME) for a trial run, allowing commuters to bypass the entire Pilkhuwa town .
The officials said the elevated section is part of Phase 3 of the DME project that spans 22km, from Dasna in Ghaziabad to the bypass road in Hapur district. The 5km stretch has been constructed with three lanes on each side and is meant for long distance commuters— the local traffic will have a six-lane road at grade.
The whole project is pegged at Rs 1,057 crore and 95% is complete at present. The elevated section is likely to cater to about 48,000 passenger car units per day.
“The elevated section has been opened to traffic from Wednesday evening and will formally be opened by Union transport minister Nitin Gadkari who is scheduled to visit the city on Tuesday. A day after the visit, we will also sstart collecting toll charges at the new toll plaza at Chhijarsi which is the starting point of the elevated section for the commuters travelling from Ghaziabad to Hapur,” RP Singh, project director (NHAI), said.
Apart from the elevated section, the 22km stretch under Phase 3 has two subways for pedestrians 11 underpasses for vehicles.
“Once the toll starts at Chhijarsi, we will close the existing toll plaza at Dasna in Ghaziabad. The dismantling work of the Dasna toll plaza will begin this week. Apart from that, we are also expecting that the bridge over the Upper Ganga Canal near Dasna will be ready for light vehicles — cars and two-wheelers — by July 25. This will further remove bottlenecks,” Singh said.
Singh said a notification for shifting Dasna toll plaza has been received from the headquarters. The need to shift it to Chhijarsi was felt as commuters who wished to take the Eastern peripheral Expressway (EPE) from Dasna interchange had to pay a toll twice, once at Dasna and the other at the EPE Dasna interchange which is barely 500 metres away.
NHAI officials said the new toll rates for Chhijarsi toll plaza have also been rolled out. As per the new rates, cars for a single journey will have to pay Rs 70 as against old rate of Rs 35. A return journey within 24 hours will cost Rs 105.
The fee for a monthly pass (for 50 single journeys within a month) has been fixed at Rs 2,290. The fee for a single journey for commercial vehicles registered in Hapur district will be Rs 35.
Officials are also expecting that the work on the entire stretch under Phase 3 is likely to be completed in August. They said in some parts, work was hampered due to rains.