PM Narendra Modi on May 27 dedicated the Rs 11,000 crore Eastern Peripheral Expressway to the nation from Uttar Pradesh’s Baghpat. India’s first smart and green highway envisages signal-free connectivity between Ghaziabad, Faridabad, Gautam Budh Nagar (Greater Noida) and Palwal. The 135-km-long six-lane access-controlled expressway has reportedly been completed in 500 days.

The expressway that connects towns of Uttar Pradesh and Haryana and is effectively an outer ring road for the capital will significantly reduce pollution and traffic jams in Delhi. As per a study, the expressway is expected to bring down vehicular pollution in Delhi-NCR by around 27 to 28 per cent.

135-KM EXPRESSWAY BOASTS OF MANY FIRSTS: TAKE A LOOK

  • The Eastern Peripheral Expressway is India’s first highway to be lit by solar power. There are eight solar power plants along the expressway having a capacity of 4,000 kilowatt.
  • The green highway also has provisions of rain water harvesting on every 500 metres on both sides. The expressway also showcases 36 national monuments and 40 fountains.
  • The stretch has a closed tolling system, which means the commuters will pay toll only for the distance travelled and not for the entire length.
  • To ensure disruption-free traffic movement, there is a provision for electronic collection of toll.
  • In order to restrict over-loaded vehicles from entering the expressway, weigh-in motion sensors have been installed on all entry points.
  • Apart from this, drivers will also be able to park their overloaded trucks. In a first of its kind, they will now have the option to unload cargo if they fail to fulfill the weight criteria.
  • To keep a check on over-speeding, vehicles are being issued challan at the toll plaza and the fine amount is being added to the total toll amount.
  • The six-lane expressway provides entry and exit at designated interchanges only. It has 406 structures, of which 4 are major bridges, 46 minor bridges, 3 flyovers, 7 inter-changes and 221 underpasses.
  • Besides digital art gallery, the expressway has an iconic toll plaza at the entry point on Kundli side.
  • Nearly, 2.5 lakh trees have also been planted alongside the expressway, including transplant of 8-10 year old trees with drip irrigation system for plantation.

Supreme Court directed NHAI to open Eastern Peripheral Expressway before May 31

The Supreme Court had on May 10 directed the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to throw open the Eastern Peripheral Expressway for the public by May 31. The top court had said if the expressway was not inaugurated on or before May 31, it should be thrown open for the public.

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.

The foundation stone of the greenfield project was laid by PM Modi on November 5, 2015.