After a bout of heavy rainfall and dust storm that hit Delhi, Haryana and surrounding areas, major cracks and craters have developed on the Rs 5764 Cr KGP Expressway or KGP Eastern Peripheral Expressway which was inaugurated by PM Narendra Modi less than 15 days ago.
The cracks have appeared at hundreds of places on the entire stretch of the highway, speaking of inferior construction. KGP Eastern Peripheral Expressway or Kundli-Ghaziabad-Palwal (KGP) Expressway or National Expressway II is a 135 km (84 mi) long, six-lane expressway, which was inaugurated only 13 days ago amidst a lot of fan-fare and hype by PM Modi who termed it a showcase of the developmental works undertaken by the BJP central government.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had recently dedicated to the nation the two newly built expressways – Delhi-Meerut Expressway and the Eastern Peripheral Expressway. PM Modi traveled in an open jeep on the Delhi-Meerut Expressway and then flew to Baghpat to inaugurate India’s first smart and green highway, the Eastern Peripheral Expressway. Built at a cost of Rs. 11,000 crore, the Eastern Peripheral Expressway has several unique features to its name. It is India’s first highway to be lit by solar power besides provisions of rain water harvesting on every 500 metres on both sides. (Also Read: Highway to Disaster)
Flooding was reported at all the subways and at several spots on the highway. According to eye-witnesses and commuters, water-logging on the highway, meant faulty construction and inferior raw material.
The 135-km-long Eastern Peripheral Expressway or EPE has been built in a record time of 17 months. Its foundation stone was laid by PM Modi in November 2015. It originates at Kundli and ends at Palwal. Kundli and Palwal are both in Haryana.
The Expressway is India’s first highway to be lit by solar power and has provisions of rain water harvesting on every 500 metres on both sides and would showcase 36 national monuments and 40 fountains, Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari said, adding it has been completed in a record 500 days.
There are 8 solar power plants on this expressway having a capacity of 4000-kilo watt (4 MW).
Mr Gadkari said 2.5 lakh trees have been planted along the highway. “For plantation, drip irrigation has been used in the central median as well as for avenue plantation,” he said.
The interchanges have been developed architecturally with beautiful plantation merged with fountains and 28 fountains have been installed drip irrigation provision has been done, he added.
Also, a cycle track of 2.5 metre has been developed on both sides of the expressway.
The minister said it is equipped with smart and intelligent highway traffic management system (HTMS) and video incident detection system (VIDS) and will set a benchmark in highway construction by being environment-friendly with world-class safety features and smart/interactive infrastructure.
Over 11 lakh tonnes of cement, 1 lakh tonnes of steel, 3.6 crore cum earthwork and 1.2 cr cum fly-ash were used for the project, the minister said adding the project has generated employment opportunities of about 50 lakh man-days and 9,375 manpower was deployed here.
Eastern Peripheral Expressway envisages signal-free connectivity between Ghaziabad, Greater Noida, Faridabad and Palwal and will ultimately decongest the national capital. About two lakh vehicles, including trucks and commercial traffic, are expected to ply on the expressway without entering the national capital.
In order to have an uninterrupted travel experience and faster toll collection, the toll plazas will be provided with Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) system.
Eastern Peripheral Expressway will help divert at least 50,000 vehicles going to Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, bringing down vehicular pollution.
The alignment of EPE starts near Kundli and passes through six parliamentary constituencies, viz Sonepat, Baghpat, Ghaziabad, Noida, Faridabad and Palwal.
The fully access controlled six-lane expressway provides entry and exit designated interchanges only and has 406 structures of which 4 are major bridges, 46 minor bridges, 3 flyovers, 7 inter-changes, 221 underpasses and 8 road over bridges (ROBs).
The amenities include retail fuel outlets, rest rooms, motels, restaurants, shops etc. Some of the monuments’ replicas pertain to Ashoka Lion, Ashoka Chakra, Konark Temple, Jalianwala Bagh, Gateway of India, Qutab Minar, Char Minar, Lal Quila, Kirti Stambh, India Gate, Hawa Mahal and Gujarat Carving.
The project had earlier faced resistance from farmers over land and other issues which have since been solved by giving higher compensation.