Delhi Current Affairs

Eastern Peripheral Expressway: PM Narendra Modi inaugurates India’s first smart and green highway

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated India’s first smart and green highway-135 km long Kundli-Ghaziabad-Palwal (KGP) Expressway also known as Eastern Peripheral Expressway (EPE). The expressway was completed in record time of about 500 days against target of 910 days at a cost of nearly Rs 11,000 crore.

PM also inaugurated first phase of Delhi-Meerut Expressway, India’s first 14 lane expressway and spans from Nizamuddin Bridge to Uttar Pradesh border. Both expressways will help to decongest the national capital as they will divert an estimated 2 lakh vehicles passing through national capital daily to this bypass.

Eastern Peripheral Expressway (EPE)

Solar power Plants: EPE is India’s first highway to be lit by solar power. It has eight solar power plants, with capacity of 4000 KW (4 megawatt) for lighting of underpasses and running solar pumps for watering plants

Rainwater harvesting: EPE also has arrangement for rainwater harvesting on both sides at every 500 meters and there is drip irrigation for plants all along the expressway.

Closed tolling system: EPE has this tolling system in which toll is collected only for the distance travelled and not for the entire length. Toll plazas are equipped with Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) system for faster toll collection Weigh-in-Motion (WIMs) equipment: They have been installed at all 30 entry points of the Expressway to stop entry of over-loaded vehicles.

Auto Challans: EPE has system for auto challans in which over-speeding will be fined as cameras along the highway will capture speed of vehicles.

Intelligent Traffic management: The EPE is equipped with smart and intelligent highway traffic management system (HTMS) and video incident detection system (VIDS).

Green cover: Over 2.5 lakh trees have been planted along the expressway including transplant of 8-10 year old trees. It has drip irrigation provision for irrigating these trees.

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Delhi becomes first city to roll-out BS-VI fuel

Delhi became the first city in India to supply ultra-clean Bharat Stage (BS) VI grade fuel (both petrol and diesel) with an aim to combat the rising levels of air pollution in Delhi-NCR region. State-owned oil firms have started supplying the BS-VI fuel (equivalent to fuel meeting Euro-VI emission norm) at all their 391 petrol pumps in NCT.

Key Facts

Other cities in NCR like Noida, Gurugram, Ghaziabad and Faridabad as well as other 13 major cities, including  Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Pune will roll-out cleaner BS-VI grade fuel from January 1 2019. However, BS-VI fuel will be rolled out in rest of the country by April 2020. By switching to BS-VI, India will join league of US, Japan and European Union, which follow Euro Stage VI emission norms.

Background

The Union Government in October 2016 had decided to skip one stage and migrate to BS-VI directly from BS-IV from April 2020 to fight the growing pollution. The deadline for it in Delhi was brought forward to 2018 due to higher level of pollution i.e. thick toxic smog faced in winter season. It was part of concerted efforts of Government to reduce vehicular emissions and improve fuel efficiency with an aim to reduce carbon footprints and keep environment healthy.

Benefits of BS-IV fuel

The major difference in standards between the existing BS-IV and new BS-VI auto fuel norms is presence of sulphur. BS-IV fuels contain 50 parts per million (ppm) sulphur, while BS-V and BS-VI grade fuel will have 10 ppm sulphur. Thus, newly introduced BS VI fuel is estimated to reduce amount of sulphur released by 80%. It will also bring down the emission of NOx (nitrogen oxides) from diesel cars by nearly 70 % and 25% from cars with petrol engines. It will also bring down cancer causing particulate matter emissions from diesel engine cars by phenomenal 80%.

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