Delhi’s Urban Extension Road Project (UER-II), which is being developed as part of the plan to decongest the national capital, will be an electric expressway, Union road transport minister Nitin Gadkari has told News18.
Explaining what an electric expressway is, Gadkari said the idea is to install electric cables through which buses and trucks will run, just like trains. There will be one lane dedicated to this and the buses and trucks will travel one after another.
In his interaction with News18, the minister said so far, electric expressways have not been implemented anywhere.
“One lane in UER-II will have these electric cables,” he said, adding that the facility will eventually be extended till Jaipur.
The 75 kilometre UER-II, he said, is expected to launch in the next six months and is being called the third Ring Road of the national capital.
On being asked how the common man will be impacted with these electric highways or expressways, he said the buses they are planning to run will offer business-class comfort to travellers, eliminating the need to use personal vehicles.
“We are discouraging the use of personal transport and encouraging the use of public transport. We are planning that people get the comfort of business class in these buses. And when we are providing this comfort at a cheaper cost (in public transport), why will you use private vehicles?” he asked.
Gadkari also explained that there will be double-decker luxury buses and trolleybuses that will run on these cables just like those running in Europe. Trucks will also run in a similar way.
“The cost of the Lithium-ion or Li-ion battery buses is around Rs 1.75 crore. However, those running through cables are available at half prices,” he added.
Better connectivity to Jaipur
Last month, the first stretch of the Delhi-Mumbai expressway between Sohna and Dausa was inaugurated that redacted the journey till Jaipur significantly. Now, Gadkari said, the ministry is trying to further ease the journey till Jaipur.
Gadkari said 15 kilometres before Dausa on the Delhi-Mumbai expressway, a road is being constructed that will connect directly to Jaipur. “The Delhi-Jaipur expressway will be part of the Delhi-Mumbai expressway. It will ease travel till Jaipur,” he said.
Gadkari said he wishes to see Delhi pollution-free in all senses — air, water and noise.
He added that they are using 20 lakh tonnes of plastic waste from landfill sites in Ghazipur in the UER-II. Gadkari said though it is not his department, he wants to free Delhi from the mountains of garbage.
“We have set a target of two years (to flatten these mountains) but Delhi L-G (Vinai Kumar Saxena) has asked us to do this in the next 18 months. This is not my department but I want to free Delhi from these mountains of garbage,” he said.
Delhi has three landfill sites at Bhalswa, Ghazipur and Okhla.
On being asked how these waste materials are used in road making, the minister explained that they first segregate the garbage and keep aside plastic, glass, metal and other items. They are then compressed and used on the road, depending on their quality.
When questioned how they ensure that the road will not cave in in future, he said rollers are used to level the waste. “There will be no possibility of caving-in of the roads,” he assured. He also said 10,000 trees were transplanted along with highway alignment.
Gadkari added that while he is taking care of air pollution in Delhi, the Union government is also providing funds to clean Yamuna.
“Only noise pollution is left. I am studying if we can use musical instruments for horn sound so that it will be pleasing to our ears,” he said.
No change in formula for road construction calculation
Gadkari also rubbished claims by the Opposition that the ministry has changed methods to calculate the length of road construction.
“There is no change in the formula. The way it was being calculated during the UPA, it is still the same. This is the formula used worldwide. This was all a misconception,” he said.
Expect UER-II in next six months
UER-II, which is being constructed at an estimated cost of Rs 7,716 crore as part of the Delhi decongestion plan, will be completed and inaugurated in the next six months, Gadkari said.
Gadkari, who inspected the site on Thursday, earlier said he expected that the project will be ready by December but post-inspection, he set a timeline of six months.
The project starts from NH-1 near village Bankoli and terminates near the junction of Sector 24 in Dwarka. UER-II is being developed in five packages.
Gadkari said the first three packages of the NH-344M will serve as an additional western ring road in Delhi, offering an alternative route for traffic from West/South Delhi, IGI Airport, and Gurgaon heading towards NH-44, Chandigarh, Punjab and J&K. It also connects to the proposed IICC in Dwarka and will improve traffic flow in Delhi.
The construction of the project started in November 2021 with a scheduled completion date of October 2023. The overall progress of the project is around 58 per cent.
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