New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the Eastern Peripheral Expressway at an event in Palwal tomorrow. Built at a cost of Rs 11,000 crore, the Eastern Peripheral Expressway has several unique features to its name. It is India’s first highway to be lit by solar power besides provisions of rain water harvesting on every 500 metres on both sides.
The 135-km-long Eastern Peripheral Expressway or EPE has been built in a record time of 17 months. Its foundation stone was laid by PM Modi in November 2015. It originates at Kundli and ends at Palwal. Kundli and Palwal are both in Haryana.
India’s first smart and green highway
The Expressway is India’s first highway to be lit by solar power and has provisions of rain water harvesting on every 500 metres on both sides and would showcase 36 national monuments and 40 fountains, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari 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).
Mr Gadkari said 2.5 lakh trees have been planted along the highway. “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 drip irrigation provision has been done, he added.
Also, a cycle track of 2.5 metre has been developed on both sides of the expressway.
Intelligent highway traffic management system
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.
Over 11 lakh tonnes of cement, 1 lakh tonnes of steel, 3.6 crore cum earthwork and 1.2 cr cum fly-ash were used for the project, the minister said adding the project has generated employment opportunities of about 50 lakh man-days and 9,375 manpower was deployed here.
Eastern Peripheral Expressway envisages signal-free connectivity between Ghaziabad, Greater Noida, Faridabad and Palwal and will ultimately decongest the national capital. About two lakh vehicles, including trucks and commercial traffic, are expected to ply on the expressway without entering the national capital.
In order to have an uninterrupted travel experience and faster toll collection, the toll plazas will be provided with Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) system.
Eastern Peripheral Expressway will help divert at least 50,000 vehicles going to Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, 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.