Eastern Peripheral Expressway (EPE), said to be India's first green and smart highway will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi this month, Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari has said. It took 5 lakh tonnes of cement, 1 lakh tonne of steel and Rs 11,000 crore in the making of the new highway, built with an objective of decongesting Delhi and NCR (National Capital Region). The EPE will be equipped with smart highway traffic management system (HTMS) and video incident detection system (VIDS). Tolls on the EPE will be collected only for the distance travelled and not for the entire highway, which will be lit with solar lights.
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 as well.
The Eastern Peripheral Expressway will prove to be a huge relief to commuters in Delhi-NCR and those transiting through the National Capital. Since 2 lakh vehicles will be off Delhi roads, it will make for a more comfortable commute. We're all aware of the horrors of traffic jams in our city which waste time and cause fatigue.
With less congestion on the roads, the entire traffic system will be smoother, hopefully bringing down the number of traffic offenders and hence accidents and fatalities.
Road Transport, Highways, Shipping, Water Resources and Ganga Rejuvenation Minister Gadkari said that the Eastern Peripheral Expressway will be a fully access-controlled six-lane expressway and entry and exit will be through designated interchanges only, adding that the toll plazas will be equipped with Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) system for faster toll collection and uninterrupted travel experience.
The minister went on to claim that the EPE project is going to be completed in a record time of about 500 days against a target of 910 days. He added that it will help control pollution and in decongesting Delhi and its adjoining area as no commercial vehicle (which is not destined for Delhi) will be allowed to enter.
The Eastern Peripheral Expressway will be the first expressway in the country with solar power for lighting on the entire expressway. There are eight solar power plants on this expressway with a capacity of 4000 kilowatts (4 MW). For plantation, drip irrigation has been used in the central median as well as for avenue plantation.
Besides this, the interchanges have been developed architecturally with plantation and 28 fountains have been installed.
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, washrooms, 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.
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 systems on the Yamuna Bridge on this expressway.