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Thursday, December 09, 2021

Delhi to Meerut Expressway opens for public, travel time to take just 45 minutes!

The aim of the 96 km-long 14-lane Delhi-Meerut expressway is to cut short travel time to around 45 minutes from over 2.5 hours at present.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: April 1, 2021 6:53:49 pm
As per the Uttar Pradesh government officials, land worth Rs 1200 crore had been acquired for the project. (Express Photo)

In a sign of relief for many commuters, the long-awaited 96-km long 14-lane Delhi-Meerut Expressway by National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) is now open to the public. It is expected to cut short travel time to around 45 minutes from over 2.5 hours at present.

Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways Nitin Gadkari took to Twitter to announce the commencement of the highly-anticipated road project. “Delhi Meerut Expressway has now been completed & opened to traffic. We have full filled our promise of reducing travel time between Delhi-Meerut from 2.5 hours to 45 minutes,” tweeted Gadkari

Presently, commuters take the NH-58 to enter Delhi which takes over three hours to cover a distance of 70 km. The expressway is likely to reduce time taken by commuters from Muzaffarnagar, Saharanpur, Haridwar and Dehradun as well.

The expressway will comprise of 14 lanes, out of which six will comprise of the central expressway till Meerut, the four lanes on the exterior will be highway lanes. The route covers crucial congested points, including the NH58 stretch between Anand Vihar and Meerut that passes through Modi Nagar and Murad Nagar.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had laid the foundation stone for the project on December 31, 2015, and subsequently, inaugurated the first phase of the expressway in May 2018. The idea of four expressways to connect Delhi and cities surrounding it was, however, proposed by Bandaru Dattatreya, former MoS Urban Affairs and Employment, in 1999.

In 2005, a notification was given in the NCR Transport Plan about a highway section between Ghaziabad and Meerut to be completed by 2021. Finally, in 2014, Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) waved green flag to the construction of the roads, following which Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation for the project on December 31, 2015.

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The construction of the project was marred by protests by farmers in Ghaziabad and adjoining areas. According to UP government officials, land worth Rs 1200 crore had been acquired for the project.

Earlier this year, construction was held up at a 31-km stretch after farmers of Muradabad village staged protests for increased compensation for their land. The officials believe that compensation has been carried out adequately as per the Land Acquisition Act rules.

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