Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday inaugurated the Delhi-Meerut Expressway (DME) built at a cost of Rs 841 crore.
The Prime Minister held a road show on the stretch of the DME before inaugurating the expressway. The road show commenced from the Nizamuddin Bridge in the national capital, 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 Delhi-Meerut Expressway, built at a cost of Rs 841 crore, has vertical gardens with solar system on the Yamuna Bridge on this expressway.
This is the first bridge in the country/world that have vertical gardens with solar power system and drip irrigation. Beautiful lighting system has also been developed on the major structures.
A cycle track of 2.5 metre wide has also been constructed on both the sides of this expressway, which also has provision of 1.5 metre footpath on each side for pedestrians.
The first package of the DME will provide a major relief to the commuters in Delhi-Noida and starts from Nizamuddin Bridge to UP Border having a 6 lane Expressway and 4+4 lane Highway.
On completion of the entire expressway the time to travel from Delhi to Meerut will reduce to 45 minutes from the present about 4-5 hours.
The scheduled time period for the construction of this project was 30 months whereas the project has been completed in 17 months.
Eastern Periphery Expressway (EPE)
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 expressway 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 expressway has an iconic toll plaza at the entry point on Kundli side besides digital art gallery.
The EPE is 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.
Around 2.5 lakh trees have been planted here including transplant of 8-10 year old trees and drip irrigation provision has been done.
It has consumed 11 lakh tonnes of cement, 1 lakh tonnes of steel, 3.6 crore cum earthwork and 1.2 cr cum fly-ash. The project has generated employment opportunities of about 50 lakh man-days and 9,375 manpower was deployed here.
A lot of traffic, outbound or non-destined for Delhi will be diverted. At least 50,000 vehicles going to Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan will be diverted, bringing down vehicular pollution.
The alignment of EPE starts near Kundli and passes through six parliamentary constituencies, viz Sonepat, Baghpat, Ghaziabad, Noida, Faridabad and Palwal.
The fully access controlled six-lane expressway provides entry and exit designated interchanges only and has 406 structures of which 4 are major bridges, 46 minor bridges, 3 flyovers, 7 inter-changes, 221 underpasses and 8 road over bridges (ROBs).
The amenities include retail fuel outlets, rest rooms, motels, restaurants, shops etc. 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.