The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has opened the 22.3km long phase 3 of Delhi-Meerut Expressway project following which commuters will now be able to reach Hapur from Dasna within 15-20 minutes. After the inauguration of phase 1 of the expressway, from Akshardham to UP Gate, this is the second stretch on the expressway to be operational.
The phase 3 of Delhi-Meerut Expressway, having 10 lanes, was scheduled to be completed by June 2019 but work on the stretch was only completed by August 28, after a delay of two months. The delay was caused by some restrictions following directions of the National Green Tribunal(NGT) and rains among other factors.
Phase 3 of Delhi-Meerut Expressway has been opened for commuters and will have a speed limit of 100kmph. During a speed test, it was found that commuters, mostly car drivers, were overspeeding. To check this, speed radars are installed at two locations. The locations would be finalized soon. Phase 3 of the expressway project is pegged at Rs 1,057 crore and has four major structures – a 2.5km long elevated section over the Upper Ganga Canal overbridge near Masuri, a 5km elevated section to bypass Pilkhuwa town, a new toll plaza at Chhajarsi and a flyover near the Hapur bypass.
The Dasna toll plaza has been removed and a new toll plaza has been put up at Chhajarsi. The toll plaza is proposed for 18 lanes but we have only opened only 16 lanes so far. All the major structures on phase 3 are now operational including the 11 underpasses for heavy vehicles and three underpasses for light vehicles and pedestrians. The Dasna underpass has five lanes that can be used by the local residents, while the Upper Ganga Canal overbridge has three underpasses and one underbridge for vehicles to change sides.
Long-distance commuters who wish to travel from Delhi to areas such as Hapur, Moradabad and further will benefit from the opening of the phase3. The NHAI also plans to plant about 8,000 saplings over the entire stretch. The trees will run on each side of the stretch in single rows. The plantation will be paid for by funds apart from the compensatory afforestation fund already paid to the Uttar Pradesh state forest department.
The other phase 2 of the project, which spans from UP Gate to Dasna, will be the next phase that would be operational. The stretch is likely to open in December. It is expected that phase 4, Dasna to Meerut, which be operational around the same time. Phase 2 is about 58% complete while phase 4 is 55% complete at present. Phase 2 is proposed to have six expressway lanes beside eight highway lanes, while the phase 4 will be a Greenfield expressway comprising six access-controlled expressway lanes.