India’s first smart and green highway Current Affairs
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.