India’s first smart and green highway – Eastern Peripheral Expressway – for decongesting Delhi will be completed in August this year, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said on Friday.

“The project, most likely, will be completed in August this year. We have spent ₹5,900 crore on land acquisition.

The expressway will reduce traffic congestion in Delhi. It will have the best automatic traffic management system, landscaping and wayside amenities,” he said.

The Eastern Peripheral Expressway will set a benchmark in highway construction by being environment-friendly with world-class safety features and smart/interactive infrastructure, the minster said.

The project, launched on September 14, 2015, consumed a million tonnes of flyash from NTPC’s various thermal plants for road-laying.

The greenfield project will divert around 2 lakh vehicles passing through the national capital daily to this bypass, cutting out pollution.

Modern systems

The project is replete with smart and intelligent highway traffic management system (HTMS) and video incident detection system (VIDS) besides a closed tolling system in which the collections will be made only on the distance travelled and not on the entire length.

Gadkari, who inspected the project sites in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana, said the toll plazas will be equipped with the faster Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) system offering an uninterrupted travel experience to the users.

“The Expressway will be equipped with HTMS which will include Variable Message Signs (VMS), CCTV, VIDS, Warning Devices, Overspeed Checking System, Weigh-in-Motion, Pavement Management Systems and Fibre Optic Network.All information collected from HTMS equipment will be relayed to a central server in control room which will trigger alarms and change VMS messages on the basis of input.This will result in real-time incident management,” he said.

Salient features

Along the expressway, wayside amenities like petrol pumps, motels, rest areas, restaurants, shops, repair services etc will be developed, he said.

We’re planting at least 2.5 lakh trees and the expressway will be lit by solar panels,” Unique features of the project will be rainwater harvesting at every 500 metres on either side of the Expressway and the watering of the plants will be done through drip irrigation, he said.

In keeping with the Prime Minister’s Swachh Bharat Mission, provision of toilets will be made at regular intervals along the expressway on either side at a distance of 25 km, he added.

Route map

The expressway passes through Sonepat, Bagpat, Ghaziabad, Gautam Budh Nagar, Faridabad and Palwal in Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, and the proposed alignment crosses the Yamuna river at Khurrampur/Khata in UP and Faizpur Khadar in Haryana and crosses the Hindon river.

The project will consume 10.2 lakh tonnes of cement, about one lakh tonnes of steel, 19 lakh tonnes of sand and 50 lakh tonne aggregates. Manpower employed is 7,275.

The project had earlier faced resistance from farmers over land acquisition and other issues which have since been solved.

The Supreme Court has directed police chiefs of Uttar Pradesh and Haryana to provide adequate security for expeditious completion of the project.

Project partners

The project work has been divided into six packages and are being carried out by Sadbhav Engineering, Jai Prakash Associates, Ashoka Buildcon, Oriential Structural Engineers and Gayatri Project and barring package III, the physical progress of the packages was between 57 and 61 per cent.

Package III, being built by the debt-laden construction and cement firm Jaiprakash Associates, made only 36 per cent progress.

There are about 400 structures in this project out of which two major bridges are on river Yamuna and one major bridge on river Hindon and Agra Canal.

There are 8 interchanges, 4 flyovers, 71 vehicle underpasses, 6 RoBs etc.