The 136 km long Western Peripheral Expressway (WPE) is set to be inaugurated by PM Modi on November 10. The WPE also known as Kundli-Manesar-Palwal (KMP) expressway is 136 km long, the Manesar-Palwal part (53 km) was opened to public two years ago, as rest of the 83 km long Kundli-Manesar section get opened on November 10, the project to connect northern and southern Haryana bypassing Delhi will be completed. PM Modi will inaugurate the Western Peripheral expressway via remote control and Haryana chief minister, Manohar Lal Khattar will attend lauch event in Sonipat’s Kundli.
The WPE along with Eastern Peripheral Expressway (EPE) will offload the traffic of commercial vehicles which could bypass the capital to reach the destined location. It will connect the traffic headed for states of Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Jammu and Kashmir. These expressways will bring down the number of hours taken to commute in neighboring areas of National Capital Region (NCR) which is one of the most congested regions in the country. The traffic conditions in Delhi are likely to improve after these two highways become fully operational. These highways will boost the economy of neighboring regions of the capital and provide world class infrastructure facilities to people living in surrounding areas as well as long route transporters. To take advantage of these highways, Haryana government will develop five cities and many industrial corridors along Western Peripheral Expressway. UP government might do the same in future along EPE to capitalize the opportunity provided by the six lane highway.
The first part of the project, 53 km long Kundli-Mandesar section has been highly successful in its aim. On the first day itself, 50,000 trucks were diverted to the expressway. This allowed them to reach their destination without passing through the city. Moreover, this was one-third of the heavy vehicles which enter the city daily. Normally 1.5 lakh heavily loaded trucks/vehicles enter Delhi every night. As the complete project to set to handed over November 10, more vehicles will be travel through the highway.
The bypass of vehicles from the city will bring down the pollution level in Delhi which faces the ‘smog’ problem every year in winters and is among the most polluted cities in the world. As per a 2016 CSE study, 30% of particulate matter emission in Delhi was contributed by the trucks. In 1984, the Supreme Court had ordered the construction of Eastern and Western Peripheral Expressways to decongest Delhi. The work for WPE was allotted to KMP expressway limited in 2006 with completion year of 2009. However, the company could not complete the project even till the end of 2014. The lackluster attitude of UPA government and its inability to implement large projects could be assessed through the example of this project. In January, 2015 Supreme Court of India directed the state government to scrap the old contract and award it to a new company. The Manesar-Palwal section was awarded to M/s KCC Buildcon Private Limited-Dilip Buildcon Private Limited (JV) in March, 2015 and the company completed it in a record time of about 500 days against the scheduled target of 910 days. Kundli-Manesar section was allotted to Essel Infra Private Limited in July 2015 with the completion target of August 2018 with six months for obtaining financial closure of the project but the company took little longer in handover.
The WPE and EPE will boost the economy of the NCR and surrounding districts. It will also make movement of cargo and people easier and more convenient. The highways will also solve the pollution problem to a great extent as it is getting monumental day by day. The project completion in record time shows the Modi government’s ability to implement ambitious projects in swift and smooth manner.
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