The Eastern Peripheral Expressway, the inauguration of which was marked by a grand road show by Prime Minister Narendra Modi still has to go a long way to become what it has been claimed as. Many problems have come to the fore and that is what we are going to highlight point by point:
- Due to no signages en route, it is a struggle to locate the beginning of the expressway which is located nearly 8 km from the Haryana-Delhi border on National Highway-1.
- Worse than this are the exit points, which are named after villages situated nearby. Exit names such as Baghpat, Duhai, Dasna, Dadri, Atali-Chasna lead to Meerut, Ghaziabad, Moradabad, Noida, Greater Noida and Faridabad, but it would be difficult for those to understand who are not familiar with Uttar Pradesh.
- It may have been touted as the country’s first smart expressway, yet it lacks facilities such as CCTVs, variable message signs for displaying important information for road users and overspeed checking system.
- Again, it might have been called the first green expressway, but out of eight solar power plants equipped there, three have already been stolen. This theft also asserts the importance of surveillance and security.
- Last, the expressway is far from being completely constructed. According to project director at the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) R.P. Singh, only 31 percent of the 82-km expressway has been constructed to date, out of which, only 8.36 km (which is phase I) is operational. So, technically, Modi only inaugurated the first phase of the Delhi-Meerut Expressway, which is only 31 percent, whereas the 69 percent of it is still to be constructed.
It would have been better had Modi concentrated on things the expressway is lacking instead of his much-choreographed road show.