Delhi to Meerut in 45 minutes from December; Nitin Gadkari shares video
A drive from Delhi to Meerut in Uttar Pradesh will be a matter of just 45 minutes instead of nearly 1.30 hours taken currently. The expressway connecting the two cities is now almost complete. On Monday, Union Road and Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari announced a new deadline to complete the project, which is in December.
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Gadkari took to Twitter to share a time-lapse video of the expressway, showing progress of roadwork along the highway. Currently the Delhi-Meerut expressway is operational phases.
The stretch between Akshardham in Delhi to UP Gate and the stretch between Dasna to Hapur are operational. The other two phases connecting UP Gate with Dasna and Dasna with Meerut are under construction.
The phase 1 of the project (Akshardham to UP Gate) caters to about 1.2 lakh passenger car units (PCUs) per day. The phase 2 (UP Gate to Dana) is about 19.2km while phase 4 (Dasna to Meerut) is about 32km and is being built as a six-lane access-controlled highway.
“Delhi-Meerut Expressway will be completed by December 2020. It will further ease traffic and reduce pollution in Delhi/NCR. The aerial video gives us the glimpse of its ongoing and completed work. #PragatiKaHighway," Gadkari had tweeted.
“Since the minister has announced the deadline of December 2020, it will now be the our official completion time. We are also planning that the six lanes of the expressway from Delhi to Meerut gets complete before December," said Mudit Garg, project director NHAI.
“We will now be holding meetings at our headquarters and also at local level to expedite work as per the revised deadline," he said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had laid the foundation stone for the Delhi-Meerut Expressway project on December 31, 2015. In November 2019, the deadline of the expressway was revised to May 2020, which has now been extended.
Completion of the project will be challenging amid restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic. Officials are now carrying out construction with a 40-50% lesser workforce as most migrant workers left for their villages in the wake of the Covid-19 lockdown on March 25.
“We have some issues with farmers and about 10% of the compensation promised to them is still pending. Some farmers have not taken the compensation while others have moved the court demanding more money. We have paid the highest possible compensation to farmers for the DME project," Garg said.
“We are also trying to manage the ongoing work with fewer workers. Overall, for phase 2, we require about 1,500 workers and for phase 2, we require 1,300 workers. Also, we still need clearance for one span of the Chipiyana rail over bridge under phase 2," he said.