India's first smart and green highway, the Eastern Peripheral Expressway (EPE), which consumed 5 lakh tonne of cement and 1 lakh tonne of steel, will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi this month, Union minister Nitin Gadkari said today.
The Prime Minister will dedicate to the nation the 135-km six-lane access-controlled expressway, built at a cost of nearly Rs 11,000 crore to decongest the national capital along with the first phase of Delhi-Meerut Expressway.
The EPE is equipped with smart and intelligent highway traffic management system (HTMS) and video incident detection system (VIDS) besides a closed tolling system in which the collections will be made only on the distance travelled and not on the entire length and would be lit with solar lights.
"The Eastern Peripheral Expressway will be inaugurated by Prime Minister this month and will set a benchmark in highway construction by being environment-friendly with world-class safety features and smart/interactive infrastructure," Road Transport, Highways, Shipping, Water Resources and Ganga Rejuvenation Minister Gadkari told reporters here.
The greenfield project, whose foundation stone was laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 5, 2015, will divert an estimated 2 lakh vehicles passing through the national capital daily to this bypass, bringing down pollution.
The minister said that the cost of construction alone for the project was 4,420 crore.
"This will be a fully access controlled six-lane expressway and entry and exit will be through designated interchanges only. There will be closed tolling system and the toll will be collected only on the distance travelled and not on the entire length. Toll plazas will be equipped with Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) system for faster toll collection and uninterrupted travel experience," he said.
The minister claimed that the project is going to be completed in a record time of about 500 days against a target of 910 days.
He said it is designed to check pollution and will help in decongesting Delhi and its adjoining area as no commercial vehicle (which is not destined for Delhi) can enter Delhi.
"This is the first expressway in the country with solar power for lighting on the entire expressway. There are 8 solar power plants on this expressway having a capacity of 4000- kilo watt (4 MW). For plantation, drip irrigation has been used in the central median as well as for avenue plantation," he said.
The interchanges have been developed architecturally with beautiful plantation merged with fountains and 28 fountains have been installed, the Minister said adding, about 1.5 crore cum fly ash has been used in the project and about 20,000 trucks of earth were carried out in a single day to expedite project.
Besides 1.5 cr cu m of fly ash was carried out from the nearest plants of Dadri, Badarpur, Panipat etc and 5 lakh tonne of cement and one lakh tonne of steel has been used in the project.
Apart from Highway Traffic Management System (HTMS) that includes Variable Message Signs (VMS) CCTV, Video Incident Detection System (VIDS), Warning Devices, Over Speed Checking System, Weigh-in-Motion, Pavement Management Systems and Fiber Optic Network, it will have real time incident management.
Along the expressway, wayside amenities are being developed at six locations which will have the facility of petrol pumps, motels, rest areas, wash rooms, restaurants, shops, repair services etc. to cater the various needs of the expressway users, he said adding a total of about 2.5 lakh trees will be planted as green belt.
Besides rainwater harvesting in the project, "Thirty six monuments like Ashoka lion, Konark Temple, Jaliyanwala Bagh, Ashoka Chakra, Gateway of India, Qutab Minar, Char Minar, Lal Quila, Kirti Stambh, India Gate and Hawa Mahal have been installed.
The project had earlier faced resistance from farmers over land and other issues which have since been solved by giving higher compensation.
The Supreme Court has directed police chiefs of Uttar Pradesh and Haryana to provide adequate security for expeditious completion of the project.
About the Delhi-Meerut Expressway, he said the first phase of the expressway -- from Nizamuddin bridge to Delhi-UP border -- will be inaugurated along with EPE and the project 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," he said.
The minister said a cycle track of 2.5 metre 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.
(This article has not been edited by Zeebiz editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)