Phase I is expected to be completed within 14 months against a deadline of 30 months
Travelling between Delhi and Meerut will take less than an hour once the 14 lane Delhi-Meerut expressway becomes operational, the work for which is running “ahead of time”.
Union minister for road transport and highways, Nitin Gadkari, today inspected the progress of the expressway and said that once operational, it will only take “45 minutes to travel” between the two cities.
“Earlier, it took approximately three to four hours to travel between Delhi and Meerut. Now, the same distance can be covered within 45 minutes,” said Gadkari.
The Rs 7,500 crore expressway has 14 lanes and is being constructed under four phases. The work under three phases have begun, while bids for the fourth stretch have been invited.
Speaking to Moneycontrol, an official from National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) said that phase one of the Delhi-Meerut expressway was “75 percent” complete despite several hurdles.
“There were lots of issues related to land and rehabilitation… but the work is in progress and is 75 percent complete,” he said.
Gadkari said that the first phase of the expressway, from Nizamuddin Bridge to Delhi-UP border should become operational latest by first week of January 2018.
“I hope to launch first phase before the end of this year… or by first week of January 2018,” he said.
Moneycontrol reported in September that Phase I of the expressway was expected to be completed by December 2017. The government had set a timeline of 30 months for completion of the first phase. The official, however, said that it would completed within 14 months.“The government had originally set a deadline of May 2019… We expect to complete the project by January next year,” he said.
|Phase||Stretch||Distance||Deadline set by Government||Expected completion (as per builders)|
|I||Nizamuddin bridge to Delhi-UP border||8.716 kilometer||May 2019||January 2018|
|II||Delhi-UP border to Dasna||19.284 km||May 2020||May 2019|
|III||Dasna to Hapur||22.270 km||June 2019||August 2018|
|IV||Hapur to Meerut||31.770 km||18 months after commencement of project||
Source: Ministry of Road Transport and Highways
Calling the expressway “historic”, Gadkari said that the expressway will contribute in “decreasing pollution in Delhi by half”.
“For the first time in the history of NHAI, we are building an expressway of 14 lanes… It will ease traffic congestion and help reduce pollution in Delhi,” he said.
Vehicles from Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh and Uttrakhand, not destined for Delhi, shall now ply to UP via the 82 kilometer expressway easing traffic situation in the capital.
The entire project has six expressways with four highways on each side. The highways could be used for local (state-bound) traffic while traffic directed only towards Meerut will commute via the expressways.
The union minister further said that the entire expressway was a “lifeline” and could be used to connect Lucknow with Delhi.
“The expressway from Meerut can be extended to connect Lucknow via Kanpur,” he said adding the detailed project report (DPR) for the same was in progress.
The expressway will be adorned by vertical gardens along Yamuna, lighting by solar panels, cycle track along the entire length, drip irrigation facility, wayside amenities and access-control traffic management system.Prime Minister Narendra Modi had laid the foundation of the Expressway in December 2015 to “decongest Delhi”. Nitin Gadkari had set a deadline of 400 days for completion of the project.