GhaziabadThe Ghaziabad district administration has urged the affected farmers of the Eastern Peripheral Expressway (EPE) project to withdraw their arbitration cases from the court of the district judge and take them up in the executive court of the district magistrate (DM) for speedy disposal.The EPE stretches for nearly 24.5km in Ghaziabad and passes through 16 villages. The entire road is a 135km stretch to connect Sonepat to Palwal in Haryana through Ghaziabad and Gautam Budh Nagar. The road will serve as a bypass for commercial vehicles to avoid Delhi and help in reducing air pollution in the national capital while helping commuters save time and fuel.The decision has been taken to speed up the pending work for the EPE project as farmers have time and again threatened agitation and stoppage of work to press for their demand for speedy disposal of their pending cases.“The farmers have been asked to withdraw their cases from the judicial court of the district judge. These cases will be transferred to the executive court of the district magistrate where speedy disposal will be done. The district court has nearly 500 pending cases while the district magistrate court has 50 of these,” Ghaziabad district magistrate Ritu Maheshwari said. According to officials, the farmers have already started withdrawing their cases and transferred them to the court of the Ghaziabad DM. Maheshwari said that speedy disposal of the cases will be done and the court will take nearly a month to clear all pending cases.“The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has also sanctioned ₹15 crore for connecting roads on one side. This was a long pending demand of farmers for connectivity with other villages. The connecting road on another stretch is also being considered by the NHAI and a decision will be taken soon,” Maheshwari added.Apart from NHAI’s EPE project, the officials are also expediting the Delhi-Meerut Expressway project and have started distributing land compensation to farmers.“Barring four villages, where an inquiry is underway on land purchases after land notification, we have started distributing the land compensation. Arbitration of cases is also being taken up. This will also be completed within a month, like the EPE,” the DM said.In January, the NHAI officials had said that an average of 80-85% work on different stretches of the EPE project was complete, and the rest was being expedited.