Package 1 of Delhi-Meerut Expressway project to be completed by year-end

Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari today reiterated the Government’s commitment for speedy completion of highway projects in Delhi National Capital Region (NCR) to decongest the region and cut down vehicular pollution levels by nearly 50%.
The Minister conducted an on-the-spot inspection of one such project, the Delhi–Meerut Expressway project and briefed mediapersons near the Akshardham temple on NH 24.
He said the first package of the Delhi–Meerut Expressway project stretching from Akshardham Temple to Delhi-UP border will be ready by December this year.  The 9-km, 14-lane highway is being completed in a record time of 14 months as against the earlier expected construction period of 30 months.
This is also the first national highway in the country with 14 lanes, and has several features that would help reduce pollution. These include a 2.5 metre wide cycle track on either side of the highway, a vertical garden on the Yamuna Bridge, solar lighting system and watering of plants through drip irrigation only.
Mr Gadkari said this highway will be developed further up to Lucknow and will be a lifeline for the people of Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh. It will also reduce traffic congestion on the Delhi – Meerut route, which in turn will lower the pollution levels in the region.
The work on the Eastern and Western Peripheral Expressways around Delhi was also going on at full speed and the former is likely to be ready before January 26 next year.  Once the NH-24 and the two peripheral expressways are ready, vehicles destined for neighbouring states will be able to bypass Delhi and this will reduce pollution by 50%.
The Minister said projects worth Rs 40,000 crore are being undertaken to decongest Delhi. These include plans for Dhaula Kuan stretch, Dwarka Expressway and a Ring Road for Delhi the cost for which will be borne jointly by the Centre and Delhi Government.
Apart from speedy construction of highways, the Ministry is also taking other steps to check pollution arising from the highways sector. These include actively promoting the use of bio-fuel driven vehicles and electric vehicles, greening of highways, covering construction sites to contain dust and promoting the use of waterways. Tenders have been issued for dredging of river Yamuna and linking Delhi and Agra through waterways.
Emphasizing that ecology, economy and development should go side by side, Mr Gadkari said these projects will pave the way for development, employment generation, cleaner atmosphere and hassle free travel for people.


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