New Delhi, May 27 (PTI) Prime Minister Narendra Modi today inaugurated the first phase of the Rs 7,500-crore Delhi-Meerut Expressway that will reduce the travel time considerably. Also Read - Secularism Biggest Threat to India’s Tradition Getting Recognition on Global Stage: Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath

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. Also Read - UP Shocker: 13-year-old Boy Sexually Assaulted by 2 Minors in Aligarh, Given Rs 20 to Stay Mum

Road Transport and Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari too rode in a separate open car alongside Modi. Also Read - UP Gram Panchayat Election 2021: Last Few Days Left to Raise Objection, Final Reservation List of Seats to be Released on THIS Date

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.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.