Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday inaugurated the first phase of the Rs 7,500-crore Delhi-Meerut Expressway that will reduce the travel time considerably.
Modi, after inaugurating the 14-lane highway spanning Sarai Kale Khan in Delhi to UP Gate, rode in an open car, waving at crowds gathered on either sides of the highway.
Road Transport and Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari too rode in a separate open car alongside Modi.
The roadshow started from Nizamuddin bridge, the start of the about 9-km first leg of the Delhi-Meerut Expressway. After a 6-km travel on the stretch, he flew to Baghpat in Uttar Pradesh to inaugurate the country’s first smart and green highway, the Eastern Peripheral Expressway.
The first phase of the Delhi-Meerut Expressway costed Rs 842 crore on building the 9-km stretch of 14-lane highway, according to an advertisement released by the government on the project.
The Delhi-Meerut Expressway, which will have dedicated bicycle tracks on the nearly 28-km stretch between Delhi and Dasna, will cut travel time between Delhi and Meerut to 45 minutes from two-and-half hour now. 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 6-lane expressway.
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.
Modi had in December 2015 laid the foundation stone of the Delhi-Meerut Expressway to be built at a cost of Rs 7,566 crore.
The project is being built in four segments — Nizamuddin Bridge to UP Border, UP Border to Dasna, Dasna to Hapur and Hapur to Meerut.
Besides, six-laning of 22 km long Dasna-Hapur section of NH 24 will cost Rs 1,122 crore.