At least a dozen new expressways would be constructed in the coming year to connect various states in the country, of which three will be started in 2017, it was announced here Friday."Eastern Peripheral Highway is just the beginning. We will make 12 such express highways. Three of such highways will be started in 2017 itself," the Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari said.Gadkari, who was here to review the ongoing construction of 135 km long Eastern Peripheral Highway, said: "This is the country's first access control highway from both sides of the road. We are trying to make under passes through such roads and avoid any hindrance."The Eastern Peripheral Expressway is expected to be thrown open by August 2017 and the two roads will divert around 2 lakh vehicles passing through the national capital to reduce Delhi's traffic congestion by 50 per cent beside reducing the air pollution.Gadkari was accompanied by National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) Chairperson Yudhvir Singh Malik and Bagpat parliamentarian Satpal Singh.One lakh cement bags were being used per day for the road which will be a control access highway, he said."Through this highway the nearby areas and the cost of the land is estimated to rise three times," said Gadkari.
He said the government was also planning to plant trees on the sides of the road to make it a green highway. The construction of the highway is likely to get over by August. The project built by five major construction firms on divided stretches was started after Supreme Court's Directive in 2006 to construct a ring road for by passing non-Delhi bound vehicles moving between Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.Initially the project was to take 2.5 years. But following the Prime Minister Narendra Modi's directive the project is being constructed within 400 days. The Eastern Peripheral Expressway will become India's first 135 km green road to be lit entirely by solar panels and will have advanced traffic system. The project which commenced in May, 2016 will consume a million tones flash from National Thermal Power Corporation's various plants to utilize waste and minimize pollution. The expressway passes through Sonipat, Bagpat, Ghaziabad, Gautam Buddh Nagar, Faridabad, and Palwal in Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. The proposed alignment crosses the Yamuna at Khurrampur/Khata in Uttar Pradesh and Faizpur Khadar in Haryana and crosses the river Hindon.