More than seven months after the Supreme Court pulled up the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and directed it to expedite the execution of the Eastern Peripheral Expressway (EPE), the project seems to have hit a road block. Talks between Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority (YEIDA) and the NHAI monitoring committee, on 31st August, over 72 hectares of land required for the EPE in the YEIDA area, failed to reach a conclusion.
According to officials, the NHAI has demanded that the YEIDA land, estimated to cost about Rs 161 crore, be given free of cost for the EPE. The NHAI also wants YEIDA to bear the cost of the construction of the EPE falling in the YEIDA area.
The monitoring committee, in its arguments, also cited the example of Greater Noida Industrial Development Authority (GNIDA), which has already given about 8 hectares of land to NHAI for the e-way. "GNIDA has asked for an additional interchange to open up near Omicron Sector in Greater Noida, which NHAI has agreed to, whereas for YEIDA the e-way will provide only a passage for the Yamuna Expressway traffic," said a YEIDA official.
YEIDA officials further said that it was not possible to agree to the terms of NHAI as they had acquired the land from farmers and had to pay them an additional compensation of 64.7%. Giving the land free to NHAI is not being a viable proposition for YEIDA, officials said.
As per the plan, the six-lane ring road, which is likely to ease traffic congestion in the NCR region by connecting Sonipat, Ghaziabad and Palwal, will also be connected to Yamuna Expressway between Delhi and Agra. The 135-km long e-way is planned to bypass Delhi on eastern side and form half a ring around the national capital, while the other half of the ring road will be formed by the Western Peripheral Expressway.
The EPE project is envisaged to provide a smooth ride between the cities of Ghaziabad, Greater Noida, Sonipat, Faridabad and Palwal, as well as to de-congest Delhi roads. Estimated to cost over Rs 4,500 crore, once completed, is likely to benefit UP and Haryana as it would open up hinterlands for developing commercial areas and townships along the expressway. YEIDA CEO Santosh Yadav remained unavailable for comment. In fact, it will form a third Ring Road around Delhi, along with Western Peripheral Expressway, which is the Kundli-Manesar-Palwal (KMP) Expressway. The EPE will have interchanges on intersections with NH-1, NH-2, NH-24, NH-58, NH-91 and Yamuna Expressway. On NH-1, it will connect near Kundli, on NH-2 near Palwal, on NH-24 near Dasna and on NH-58 near Muradnagar.
In Greater Noida, the EPE will connect near the Yamuna Expressway and near the integrated township of the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor while on NH-91 (Grand Trunk Road) it will connect near Beel Akbarpur. Noida, Greater Noida, Dadri, GT Road, Ghaziabad, Dholana, Hapur will be decongested once the e-way is in place. Expected vehicular movement on the e-way is about one lakh per day by 2021.