By Ayaskant Das
New Delhi, July 10 (IANS) The second section of the Delhi-Meerut Expressway, from UP Gate till Dasna in Ghaziabad, is set to be commissioned in December this year, about five months ahead of its scheduled completion date.
According to the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), work on the project is 55 per cent complete and will be finished ahead of the targeted May 2020.
The ambitious Expressway has been conceived to provide seamless travel from Delhi to Meerut as well as Hapur in the prosperous western Uttar Pradesh.
Once it is operational, motorists from Delhi will be able to reach Meerut in just one hour, NHAI sources said.
The Expressway's first section, from Sarai Kale Khan in Delhi to UP Gate in Ghaziabad, was completed in June 2018 and it was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The 59.78 km stretch from Delhi to Meerut will be a six-lane double carriage Expressway and can be used after paying toll.
Along this stretch, the distance from Sarai Kale Khan to Dasna will be flanked by four lanes of roads on either which will remain free for use by commuters.
The 22.23-km stretch from Dasna to Hapur will be a six-lane road flanked by two service lanes on either side that will also be free for commuters. Only around 5 per cent of construction work remains to be completed on this stretch.
"There will be three toll plazas along the e-way. It will have three entry and exit points between Sarai Kale Khan and UP Gate. Three more entry and exit points will be provided in Ghaziabad between UP Gate and Dasna," a senior NHAI official told IANS.
The section from UP Gate to Dasna, which falls entirely within Ghaziabad, has a couple of issues that has been delaying its progress.
"A water pipeline near Pratap Vihar in Ghaziabad has to be shifted. Also, a Delhi Municipal Corporation toll kiosk that is causing congestion at UP Gate needs to be shifted. We are in talks with the authorities to expedite these works," said the official.
The 31.78-km stretch of the Expressway from Dasna to Meerut, which is the final leg of the project, is 52 per cent complete.
Work on four kilometres of this particular stretch has been held up owing to arbitration issues raised against land acquisition by farmers. About 0.48 hectares of land along this stretch is also awaiting forest clearance.
The stretch between Dasna and Hapur, which is not part of the Expressway and which will be toll free, is 95 per cent complete.