Contrary to the claims of Union Minister Nitin Gadkari of completion of Meerut- Delhi Expressway by April 2019, the officials of National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) have extended its completion time to September this year.
The officials of NHAI briefed regarding this in a review meeting with Meerut Divisional Commissioner Anita C Meshram. The NHAI officials told that the work between Dasna (Ghaziabad) to Hapur was going on in full swing and this stretch of the Expressway will be completed by the end of June this year.
Another stretch of 32 km of the Expressway is under construction between Dasna and Meerut and work on this stretch would be complete by September this year. In fact, the work on this stretch was hampered in the past due to the compensation issue and bad weather. Now, the NHAI is hoping to complete the work on this stretch by the end of September this year.
It may be recalled that Union Minister Nitin Gadkari, during his visit here in February, had claimed that the Expressway would open for public in the month of April, but this could not happen as the pace of work had slowed down.
Commissioner Anita Mesharam directed the officials to speed up the work. She said that on NH-58 there is a lot of traffic movement. Meanwhile, the work for the construction of the Rapid Rail will also start worsening the already problematic traffic situation. She said that the problem of traffic jams in Modinagar and Muradnagar on NH-58 is acute and might get worse once the Rapid Rail work picks up. Hence, she directed the officials of district administration, PWD and traffic police to chalk out an effective plan to resolve the issue of traffic jams at these points.
The work of the first phase of Meerut-Delhi Rapid Rail will soon start between Sahibabad and Duhai and in that condition, the traffic situation is likely to worsen on NH-58, especially when the Expressway is also not ready. NH-58 connects Delhi to Meerut, Muzaffarnagar and Hardwar and a large number of vehicles pass through it on a daily basis. It often faces jams making it difficult for the commuters.
The first phase of the Expressway between Sarai Kale Khan bus station in Delhi and UP Gate has already been completed and was inaugurated by PM Modi along with Eastern Peripheral Expressway last year. Since then, the people were hoping that the work on Meerut Expressway would speed up and be completed before the Lok Sabha elections.
Once completed, the Meerut-Delhi Expressway will considerably reduce the travelling time between Meerut and Delhi and also to Muzaffarnagar, Hardwar and Dehradun. It is believed that the travelling time between Meerut and Delhi would be just an hour after the Expressway is completed while now it takes two to three hours if there is less or no traffic. Jams on this highway are a common phenomenon and the bottlenecks are Modinagar, Muradnagar and Rajnagar Extension. At times it even takes 4-5 hours to reach Delhi in case of heavy traffic, especially during the peak hours.