Prime Minister Narendra Modi will travel in an open jeep on the Delhi-Meerut Expressway on Sunday and also inaugurate India’s first smart and green highway, the Eastern Peripheral Expressway (EPE), built at a cost of Rs 11,000 crore, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari has said.
The Prime Minister’s road show will commence from the Nizamuddin Bridge, the start of the about 9 km first leg of the Delhi-Meerut Expressway, and after a 6-km travel on the stretch, he is scheduled to fly to Baghpat for dedicating the EPE to the nation.
“The Prime Minister will travel in an open jeep on Delhi Meerut Expressway for 6 km, where he will be greeted by a huge number of people. The Prime Minister would inaugurate the exhibition and 3D model there and would fly to Baghpat to dedicate to the nation the EPE,” Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Minister Gadkari said here.
The 135-km EPE, built at a cost of Rs 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 8 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 minister said 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 said 2.5 lakh trees have been planted here including transplant of 8-10 year old trees and drip irrigation provision has been done.
The e-way has been built using 11 lakh tonnes of cement, 1 lakh tonnes of steel, 3.6 crore cum earthwork and 1.2 crore cum fly-ash, the minister said adding the project has generated employment opportunities of about 50 lakh man-days and 9,375 manpower was deployed here.
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.