The much-awaited Delhi-Meerut Expressway (DME), pegged as a smart highway, was opened for public on Thursday after the completion of its remaining stretches.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi in May 2018 had inaugurated the first phase of the Rs 8,346-crore 9-km stretch of 14-lane highway.
"Delhi Meerut Expressway has now been completed and opened to traffic. We have fulfilled our promise of reducing travel time between Delhi - Meerut from 2.5 hours to 45 minutes," Road Transport, Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari said after the smart highway was opened for people.
He said Delhi Meerut Expressway Package II that comprises six Lane Expressway and eight Lane NH- from Delhi/UP Gate to Dasna and Package IV (6 Lane Expressway from Dasna to Meerut via Greenfield) has been successfully completed and opened for the public.
In order to decongest Delhi-NCR and with the continuous increase in high-speed traffic along with problems of traffic jams and rising levels of pollution, the project of Delhi Meerut Expressway has been constructed at a cost of Rs 8,346 crore in the state of Uttar Pradesh and Delhi.
The widening works of the DME Package I was completed in May 2018 and was dedicated to the nation by the Prime Minister.
The widening works of DME Package-III were completed on September 30, 2019, and was inaugurated by Gadkari.
"The total length of the project is 82 Km which includes 60 km length of Expressway and 22 Km length of National highways. A total of 24 Minor and Major bridges, 10 flyovers, 3 ROBs, 95 Underpasses, 15 Subways and 12 Foot Over Bridges have been constructed in this project," Ministry of Road Transport and Highways said.
A Facility of lighting on the highway along with 4,500 more lights have been provided.
Modi had in December 2015 laid the foundation stone of the Delhi-Meerut Expressway.
The project has been built in four segments -- Nizamuddin Bridge to UP Border, UP Border to Dasna, Dasna to Hapur and Hapur to Meerut.
The Ministry said adequate cameras have also been installed for the safety of the commuters plying on the expressway and to keep a strict check on any sort of violations in traffic rules and regulations.
"Keeping in mind, especially for the safety of cycle riders and walkers, a 2.5 meter cycle corridor and 2 meter wide footpath have been constructed. This expressway is being developed as a Smart Expressway in which road users will not only get the full information on climate, traffic and other related details of the expressway but also get the information of accidents (if any) at different locations," the statement said.
Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cum FASTag based Multi Lane Free Flow Tolling System has been introduced for the first time in this project for collection of user fees which will be deducted without any stoppage of traffic and ensure for the free flow of high speed traffic, it added.
A special Emergency Call Box (ECB) provision has been made for timely approach at the time of emergency for the road users.
Keeping in mind the comfortable journey for the road users, facilities of an ambulance, crane, petrol pump, restaurants, maintenance of vehicles shops etc. have been developed in Village Didwari under the stretch of DME Package-IV, the statement said.
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