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9-km Delhi stretch on NH 24 to open by Dec as Min’s New Year gift

| | New Delhi

Commuters often caught in massive traffic snarls on the National Highway 24 have something to cheer about. The Centre on Tuesday announced that the 9-km Delhi stretch of the 14-lane Meerut Expressway would be operational by December this year.

Road and Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari said the country’s first 14-lane highway, which includes Expressway and a 2.5 metre cycle track, will be thrown open to the public as a New Year gift.

Gadkari said the stretch between Sarai Kale Khan and Delhi-UP border covering Nizamuddin bridge has been completed in mere 14 months as against the scheduled 30 months. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had laid the foundation stone of this

Rs 7,566 crore expressway on December 31, 2015.

Gadkari said 75 per cent work in the first phase of the expressway — from Sarai Kale Khan to Delhi-UP border — is complete.  The Minister said the project, which includes 6-lane expressway in the middle and 4-lane highway on both sides, will help curb pollution in Delhi by diverting the traffic from other States. On completion, the expressway will reduce the travel time significantly from Delhi to Meerut to just 45 minutes from 3-4 hours at present.

The phase-II of the project involves 6-lane Expressway and 8-lane highway from Delhi/UP Border to Dasna for 19.28 km. The Phase-III will involve 6-laning of NH-24 for 22.27 km from Dasna to Hapur. Phase-IV will be for 31.70 km of new greenfield alignment from Dasna to Meerut.

The NHAI has taken up development of Delhi-Meerut Expressway (DME) under phase VI of NHDP as presently there is only one route, NH-58 between the two cities, which results in major traffic snarls.

“Considering volume of traffic and need for connectivity for Meerut and beyond for Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, there is urgent need for an expressway between these two places for the unhindered fast and safe travel from Delhi to Meerut and vice versa,” Gadkari said.

The 8.7 km stretch of the first phase project involves vertical garden being developed on the Yamuna bridge, solar system lighting and drip irrigation for watering plants besides new 4+4-lane major bridges across Yamuna.

Gadkari said adequate steps, including sprinkling of water, are being taken during the construction of national highways to minimise pollution. “Pollution in Delhi is not only linked to automobiles but to climate change as well and the Government is mulling using vacuum cleaners to remove dust from the roads,” he added.

According to NHAI officials, 495 slums were rehabilitated for the project and 40,000 saplings are to be planted in lieu of 3,261 trees removed.



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