Prime Minister Narendra Modi will, on Sunday, dedicate to the nation two newly built expressways in the Delhi NCR Region. While one is the 14 lane, access controlled, package –I of the Delhi-Meerut Expressway, the second project that will be inaugurated today is the 135-km-long Eastern Peripheral Expressway (EPE), stretching from Kundli on NH 1 to Palwal on NH 2.
Delhi-Meerut Expressway: The 8.360 km Delhi-Meerut Expressway stretches from Nizammudin Bridge to Delhi UP Border. This stretch has been completed in a record time of 18 months as against the earlier expected construction period of 30 months. It is a 6-lane expressway and 4+4 Service lanes, i.e. 14-lane facility built at a cost of Rs 841.50 crore. This is the first National Highway in the country with 14 lanes.
It has several features to reduce pollution like a 2.5-metre-wide cycle track on either side of the highway, a vertical garden on the Yamuna Bridge, solar lighting system and watering of plants through drip irrigation only. The foundation stone for the project was laid down by Prime Minister Modi on December 31, 2015.
It aims to provide faster and safer connectivity between Delhi and Meerut and Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. 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 project is likely to cost Rs 4975.17 crore. This will be the first expressway to have dedicated bicycle tracks on the nearly 28 km stretch between Delhi and Dasna. The project involves the construction of 11 flyovers/interchanges, 5 major and 24 minor bridges, 3 ROBs (rail over bridges), 36 vehicular and 14 pedestrian underpasses.
It will also have elevated section of 5.91 kms. The entire project has been divided into four packages. Once the entire project is complete, it will take just 60 minutes to travel from Delhi to Meerut.
Eastern Peripheral Expressway (EPE): The 135-km-long EPE starts near Kundli NH-1, traverses to cross river Yamuna , crosses SH-57 Mawikalan, NH-58 near Duhai, NH-24 near Dasna, NH-91 near Beel Akbarpur, Kasna-Sikandra road near Sirsa, river Yamuna again at village Faizupur Khadar (Haryana) , Atali-Chainsa Road (near village Maujpur) and ends at Palwal on NH-2 to join Western PE. PM had laid the foundation for this project on 5 November 2015.
A total of 1700 Hectares of land has been acquired for the EPE at a cost of about Rs 5900 crore. The construction cost of the project is about Rs 4617.87 crore. The expressway has been completed in a record time of about 500 days against the scheduled target of 910 days. It is a fully access-controlled six-lane expressway. Entry and exit on the expressway is through designated interchanges only.
The Expressway has 4 major bridges, 46 minor bridges, 3 flyovers, 7 inter-changes, 221 underpasses, 8 ROBs, and 114 culverts. This project has generated employment opportunities of about 50 lakh man-days.
The EPE has a closed tolling system in which toll will be collected only for the distance travelled and not for the entire length. Toll plazas will be equipped with Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) system for faster toll collection and uninterrupted travel experience. Weigh-in-Motion (WIMs) equipment have been installed at all 30 entry points of the Expressway to stop entry of over-loaded vehicles.
EPE has an iconic toll plaza 170 feet high, with 154 feet wing on either side. It will house the ITS control system of the entire EPE. Under the toll plaza there is a digital art gallery with holographic models of major structures and making of the EPE.
This is the first Expressway in the country to use solar power on the entire length of 135 km. There are eight solar power plants on this Expressway, with a capacity of 4000 KW (4 megawatt) for lighting of the underpasses and running solar pumps for watering plants. Rainwater harvesting has been provided at every 500 meters on the EPE and there is drip irrigation for plants all along the expressway. There are also 36 replicas of monuments depicting Indian culture and heritage.