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Eastern Peripheral eWay to be thrown open from January 26 - Easing Of Traffic in Delhi Expected 
Date: 12 Dec 2017
INT|20171212|001 

The EPE, which was originally expected to be launched by August 15 this year, faced blockades from farmers in Noida, Uttar Pradesh over compensation for land acquisition resulting in delays for several months

The union ministry for road transport and highways hopes to make Delhi traffic-congestion free by Republic Day next year as it plans to throw open Eastern Peripheral Expressway (EPE) by January 26 2018.

“Our completion target is December this year and we want to launch it by January 26 next year,” said a senior National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) official, on condition of anonymity.

He said that even though “certain issues” remain pending, NHAI was “pushing hard” for timely completion of the project.

Another official from NHAI said that “certain clearance issues” were pending and that “it was difficult to put a fixed date for the launch”.

“We are trying to complete it by December or January 15th at max but it’s not fixed,” he said.

EPE is a part of the Peripheral Expressway Project which includes Western Peripheral Expressway (WPE) and EPE, connecting NH-1 and NH-2 from western and eastern side of Delhi.

The 135 kilometer EPE starts near Kundli on National Highway-1 and ends at Palwal on NH-2 (in Haryana) via Ghaziabad (Uttar Pradesh).

Union minister, Nitin Gadkari, pitched EPE as “India’s first smart and green highway,” which will have highway traffic management systems, video incident detection systems and electrified solar panels installed along the route.

The EPE was originally expected to be launched by August 15 this year but has faced blockades from farmers in Noida, Uttar Pradesh over compensation for land acquisition resulting in delays for several months.

The green expressway commenced in 2015 and was given 900 days (approximately 2.5 years) to be completed. It has seen a delay of “over 100 days in total” since its commencement.

Farmers in Noida (UP) have held work, demanding greater compensation for their land. They have cited that compensation being given to them “was not as per Land Acquisition Bill 2013”.  Noida has a stretch of 41 km under EPE.

“The issue in Noida hasn’t completely resolved,” said the official, directly involved with the project. “About one to 1.5 kilometer of stretch has not been acquired yet”.

He said that the issue would be solved once the matter related to compensation is settled.

“The distribution (of compensation) at district administration is left… Once that is done, the issue should be resolved”.

The project was awarded at a cost of approximately Rs 4,418 crore but could see an overrun due to higher compensation.

 

The official said that “distribution of extra compensation" is left which has been decided by the district administration.

“Some farmers have been demanding higher compensation but it has not been decided,” he said. The “district administration has to take the call”.

Apart from compensation to farmers for land acquisition, the official said that there was a “stay” on construction by High Court in Punjab-Haryana.

“There is a stay in Punjab-Haryana High Court… It’s a dispute between state government and villagers,” he said adding, “State government says it’s the Panchayat’s (village government body) land but villagers claim it to be theirs”.

EPE is being developed in six phases with progress ranging from 66 percent to 88 percent.
Package Cumulative Physical progress %
I  (21 km) 82%
II (24.5 km) 88%
III (24.5 km) 66%
IV (22 km) 81%
V (21 km) 75%
VI (22 km) 84%

Source: MoRTH

The entire peripheral project (WPE and EPE) would form a ring road around Delhi with a total length of 270 km (135 km each). While a length of 183 km passes through Haryana, the remaining about 87 km length passes through Uttar Pradesh.

Once operational, the expressway is expected to deviate 80,000 vehicles not bound to Delhi and ease the traffic congestion problem in the capital. It would cut down automobile pollution in the city by “50 percent”.

“We are estimating ease of approximately 60,000 passenger car units and 25,000 commercial vehicles… The number should rise with time,” the official said.

 


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