New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will travel in an open jeep on the Delhi-Meerut Expressway on Sunday and also inaugurate India's first smart and green highway, the Eastern Peripheral Expressway (EPE), built at a cost of Rs 11,000 crore, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari has said.
The Prime Minister's road show will commence from the Nizamuddin Bridge, the start of the about 9 kilometres first leg of the Delhi-Meerut Expressway, and after a 6-kilometres travel on the stretch, he is scheduled to fly to Baghpat for dedicating the EPE to the nation.
"The Prime Minister will travel in an open jeep on Delhi Meerut Expressway for 6 km, where he will be greeted by a huge number of people. The Prime Minister would inaugurate the exhibition and 3D model there and would fly to Baghpat to dedicate to the nation the EPE," Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Minister Gadkari said in New Delhi.
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 minister said, adding it 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 minister said adding, the expressway has an iconic toll plaza at the entry point on Kundli side besides digital art gallery.
The minister said it is equipped with smart and intelligent highway traffic management system (HTMS) and video incident detection system (VIDS) and will set a 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.
Gadkari said 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 minister said adding the project has generated employment opportunities of about 50 lakh man-days and 9,375 manpower was deployed in New Delhi.
A lot of traffic, outbound or non-destined for Delhi will be diverted, he said adding 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.