India’s first “smart and green highway” is ready for inauguration! Prime Minister Narendra Modi is going to inaugurate the Eastern Peripheral Expressway (EPE) this month, which will be the nation’s very first smart and green highway. The announcement was made by Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways of India, Nitin Gadkari, who also heads Shipping and Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation. According to the Union Minister, by being eco friendly along with world-class safety features and smart/interactive infrastructure, the Eastern Peripheral Expressway will set a benchmark in highway construction. With the opening of the expressway, the dream of signal-free connectivity between Palwal, Gautam Budh Nagar, Faridabad and Ghaziabad, will come true. The Union Minister also said that the expressway project is going to be completed in a record time of around 500 days against a target of 910 days. Here are ten things, you need to know about the Eastern Peripheral Expressway:
1) The Eastern Peripheral Expressway, which is 135-km six-lane access-controlled expressway, is being developed at a cost of around Rs 11,000 crore. According to Nitin Gadkari, the construction cost alone is Rs 4,420 crore.
2) For its construction, the Eastern Peripheral Expressway consumed 5 lakh tonne of cement and 1 lakh tonne of steel. Also, seven interchanges are being developed and at every 500 m interval on either side of EPE, rain water harvesting is being developed.
3) The Eastern Peripheral Expressway, which is being built to decongest the national capital will divert around 2 lakh vehicles passing through the national capital daily to this bypass. Therefore, this will also help in bringing down the pollution level.
4) EPE has been provided with smart and intelligent highway traffic management system and video incident detection system. Also, Over Speed Checking System, Weigh-in-Motion, Warning Devices, Pavement Management Systems, Fiber Optic Network and other facilities have been provided.
5) For faster toll collection and uninterrupted travel experience, the toll plazas will be provided with Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) system. Moreover, the amount will be collected, only on the distance travelled and not on the entire length.
6) The expressway will also sport thirty six “monuments” like Ashoka lion, Ashoka Chakra, Gateway of India, Qutab Minar, Konark Temple, Jaliyanwala Bagh, Char Minar, Lal Quila, Kirti Stambh, India Gate, Hawa Mahal etc.
7) Interestingly, the EPE is going to be the first one in India to have solar power for lighting on the entire expressway. With capacity of 4000-kilo watt (4 MW), there will be 8 solar power plants on this expressway.
8) The interchanges in the expressway have been developed architecturally. In addition to this, along with beautiful plantation, 28 fountains have been installed. Also, nearly 2.5 lakh trees will be planted as green belt.
9) In order to cater the various needs of the expressway users, wayside amenities at six locations, including petrol pumps, wash rooms, motels, shops, rest areas, restaurants, repair services etc. are being developed as well.
10) The EPE is going to be the first bridge in the country/world that have vertical gardens with solar power system and drip irrigation. Also, a cycle track of 2.5 metre has been developed on both the sides of this expressway.