India’s first smart and green Highway that will potentially decongest the traffic in the Delhi-NCR region is expected to start operations, this month. The Eastern Peripheral Expressway (EPE) is expected to be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and will divert around two lakh vehicles entering the national capital on a daily basis – which, in turn, will also help reduce the pollution levels.
The Government has incurred around Rs 11,000 crore in expenditure for developing the 135km six-lane stretch that connects Palwal, Gautam Budhh Nagar, Faridabad and Ghaziabad. According to claims made by the Minister for Road Transport & Highways, Nitin Gadkari, the project will be completed in 500 days – almost 400 days ahead of the target. Affirmed by him, the government has spend Rs 4,420 crore in the construction work – a huge part of which went in purchasing one lakh tonnes of steel and five lakh tonnes of cement.
The 135km stretch is equipped with an intelligent highway traffic management system and video incident detection system. Systems will also monitor vehicle speeds, weigh-in-motion, warning devices, pavement management systems and a fibre-optics network. Moreover, the EPE will have seven interchanges and rain water harvesting has been developed at every 500m.
What adds another feather to this green corridor’s cap is government’s efficient and interesting approach to light the expressway. The EPE will be the first driveway in India where the entire stretch will have eight solar power plants with combined capacity of over 4,000kW.
Furthermore, in a bid to provide faster toll collection and uninterrupted travel, the toll plazas will be equipped with electronic toll collection (ETC). The amount will be collected on the travel distance the vehicles will cover and not for the entire stretch of the expressway. Also, the green belt alongside the EPE will be planted with 2.5 lakh trees and 28 fountains. The commuters will also find thirty-six replicas of famous monuments like the Ashoka Lion, Ashoka Chakra, Gateway of India, Qutab Minar, Konark Temple, Jaliyanwala Bagh, Char Minar, Lal Quila, Kirti Stambh, India Gate, Hawa Mahal, and more.
The halt stations to be constructed at six locations with several intervals will have petrol pumps, washrooms, motels, restaurants, eateries, and shops, repair services, etc to meet the wherewithal of travellers on this route.