PM Modi inaugurates Eastern Peripheral Expressway; praises Yogi govt

Prime Minister addressing a rally in Baghpat, Uttar Pradesh while inaugurating the Eastern Peripheral Expressway on Sunday. Photo: ANI
Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Kundli-Ghaziabad-Palwal expressway or the Eastern Peripheral Expressway (EPE) in Baghpat, Uttar Pradesh on Sunday.

He asserted that Rs 3 trillion have been spent in laying a network of 28,000 km of highways while addressing a rally during the inauguration.

Earlier in the day, Modi inaugurated the first phase of the newly built 14-lane Delhi-Meerut expressway and also held a roadshow covering a distance of around 6 kms. The whole Delhi-Meerut expressway project is expected to cost around Rs 40 billion. 

Modi took the opportunity to talk about the schemes, policies and achievement of his government as the Modi-led Central government completed four years in office.

Key highlights of Modi's rally during EPE's inauguration:

1. Modi claimed that highway construction had reached 27 km a day from 12 km a day during Congress regime.

2. Apart from Rs 5 trillion provision for Bharatmala project for highways, a provision of Rs 14 trillion was made in the budget to strengthen agriculture-related infrastructure, he said.

3. He said the Opposition was spreading rumours on farmer issues and asked people not to give credence to lies about farms given on contract farming. He also said that his government is sensitive to the plight of sugarcane farmers and adequate steps are being taken to provide proper prices for the crop.

He also slammed the Congress saying that Congress had betrayed people for 70 years and played politics to create a crisis of confidence whether related to EVMs or other critical issues.

4. He lauded Uttar Pradesh (UP) chief minister Yogi Adityanath for his action against crime and in UP and said that criminals were now surrendering themselves.

5. He mentioned the Ganga cleaning programme and said that more than 200 projects worth Rs 210 billion have been taken up.

Here is all that you need to know about the Eastern Peripheral Expressway:

1. The 135-km long Eastern Peripheral Expressway has been built at a cost of Rs 110 billion and another Rs 60 billion have been spent on land acquisition. The expressway is expected to reduce the travel time between Kundli and Palwal in Haryana from over 4 hours to just 72 minutes. The 6-lane access control highway will have four major bridges, 46 minor bridges, eight railways over-bridge, seven interchanges, 70 underpass, 151 pedestrian underpass, and three flyovers. 

2. The highway will divert over 50,000 vehicles which are not destined for Delhi and will help in reducing the pollution levels in the city by around 27 per cent according to Union Minister Nitin Gadkari.

3. The Expressway will have a closed tolling system in which toll will be collected only on the distance travelled and not on the entire length, National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) Chief General Engineer B.S. Singla told IANS.

There will also be a provision for electronic collection of toll to ensure disruption-free movement of traffic.

4. Weigh-in-motion sensors are installed on all entry points which will ensure that over-loaded vehicles are not allowed to enter the Expressway. There will also be an arrangement of parking of overloaded trucks where they can unload some of the cargo to satisfy the weight criteria and then move to the Expressway.

5. There are eight solar power plants on the Eastern Peripheral expressway which have a capacity of 4000 kilo watt and provisions of rain water harvesting have been made on both sides of the expressway at every 500 metres. 

6. The expressway has been built in a record time of 500 days against the sanctioned target of 910 days. According to NHAI chief general engineer B S Singla, 33 per cent of the earth work of the highway is done using fly ash from coal power plants to contribute in reducing pollution levels.

7. The EGP was planned in 2006 after a Supreme Court order to bulind a ring road outside the national capital for diverting the traffic not destined for Delhi.

8. Cameras have been installed at a gap of every two-kilometres to check over-speeding. The expressway will have auto challans for over-speeding and 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.

9. The expressway will showcase replicas of 36 national monuments including Ashoka Chakra,  Konark Temple, Jalianwala Bagh, Gateway of India, Qutab Minar, Char Minar, Lal Quila, Kirti Stambh, India Gate, Hawa Mahal and Gujarat Carving along with 40 fountains.

10. The Expressway was earlier scheduled to be inaugurated on April 29. The Supreme Court on May 10 had directed the NHAI to open the expressway for the public before on or before May 31 which had been delayed because the Prime Minister was not available to inaugurate the expressway. However, Road Transport, Highways and shipping minister NItin Gadkari had said that some of the work was still incomplete and the delay had nothing to do with the PMO.

                                                                                                                                                                        With agency inputs

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