Reality Check: A 2-Hour Drive on the Eastern Peripheral Expressway
Cameraperson: Mayank Chawla
Video Editor: Rahul Sanpui
The Delhi-NCR region just got a brand new expressway – the Eastern Peripheral Expressway, that extends from Kundli, just north of the National Capital, to Palwal to the south of the city. The Eastern Peripheral Expressway was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 27 May 2018.
Built at a cost of Rs 11,000 crore, this 135-km NHAI project boasts many unique, green initiatives. The entire expressway is supposedly lined with LED street lamps. These are powered by solar panels and inverters placed at regular intervals. It also has unique street furniture along the sides of the stretch, such as replicas of many famous monuments like the Qutb Minar, India Gate, Sun Temple, Red Fort and others.
The expressway was built to ease congestion and pollution in the national capital by diverting trucks along this route. It’s also a good road to take if you want to bypass Delhi, if you are heading to Agra, Mathura or even Faridabad.
However, there are some major misses as well.
Eastern Peripheral Expressway Highlights
The Good Bits
- Access-controlled 135-km Expressway from Kundli to Palwal
- Speed limit of 120 kmph for cars, 100 kmph for buses and 80 kmph for trucks
- Solar panels power the LED street lights
- Built in a record 510 days
- No petrol pumps or eateries along the entire route
- No interchange built to connect with the Yamuna Expressway
- No protection for solar panels, many of which have already been stolen
- No CCTVs in place, patrolling not effective enough to check wrong-side driving
Toll booths have just started functioning on the expressway. It costs Rs 215 for the 135 km journey by car. There are smaller tolls for shorter-distance use of the Expressway.
However, the expressway desperately needs better signage as there are unmarked U-turns that can be a hazard. Not just that, but it needs better patrolling, as there are many vehicles that drive on the wrong side of the expressway, which could lead to accidents.
On our 2-hour drive, we had a couple of close shaves and saw some accidents that had already taken place. This needs to be addressed as soon as possible before fatalities rise.
Another big miss on the expressway is that there is no interchange to the Yamuna Expressway that connects to Agra. The Eastern Peripheral Expressway passes over the Yamuna Expressway, but the planners have not built any sort of exit to the latter. Is it because the Yamuna Expressway is privately-owned by Jaypee Group, while the Eastern Peripheral Expressway has been built by the government-owned NHAI? If so, it’s just petty politics at the cost of convenience to citizens.
Watch the video for the full report.