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After 16 yrs, India’s widest e-way Delhi-Meerut Expressway opens

NEW DELHI: The Delhi-Meerut Expressway, the project conceived 16 years back to reduce travel time between two cities to barely 45 minutes, became a reality on Thursday as the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) threw open the fully access controlled expressway to the public.


This was part of the National Highway Development Project-VI, approved by the Cabinet in 2006 to build 1,000kms of four and six-lane expressways in high-density parts of the country.
Announcing the opening of the expressway, which also includes the widest highway stretch with 14 lanes in the country, Union road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari tweeted, “Delhi-Meerut Expressway has now been completed and opened to traffic. We have fulfilled our promise of reducing travel time between Delhi and Meerut from 2.5 hours to 45 minutes.”
This expressway will reduce the travel time from Delhi to Haridwar and Dehradun drastically as commuters can now take this road instead of the congested Delhi-Modi Nagar-Meerut highway, which was earlier known as NH-58.
During review of the progress of the project in February, NHAI had assured Prime Minister Narendra Modi to complete it by March-end. Sources said the PM had asked whether he should believe that there would be no more extension of the deadline.
“Finally, we have made the entire stretch operational for a seamless journey. The project has undergone a sea change since it was first planned and approved. Now this expressway can meet the requirement of 20-30 years as seamless travel will increase the throughput. Actual work started in early 2015. It took a long time due to non-availability of land and other statutory clearances,” said a government official.
This would be the first highway stretch of NHAI in an urban area where user fee (toll) will be charged for using only the access controlled or barricaded corridor, which means those using the service roads won’t pay the toll charge, the official said. To make the tolling smoother, NHAI will deploy the automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cum FASTag-based multi-lane free flow tolling system, which will use high definition cameras to read the number plate and automatically deduct the toll amount from the FASTag.
A special Emergency Call Box (ECB) provision has been made for timely approach at the time of emergency for the road users.



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Thought of the day

“Good things come to those who wait… greater things come to those who get off their ass and do anything to make it happen.”