Modi inaugurates two expressways

In picture: Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday launched two expressways in and around Delhi with an assertion that his government has spent around Rs 3 lakh crore on laying a network of 28,000 km of highways across the country.

The first phase of Delhi-Meerut Expressway and the Eastern Peripheral Expressway — the first to cut down on travel time from Meerut to Delhi and the second to help reduce pollution in the capital city — are expected to make travel easy in the National Captial Region.

Modi first launched the the 14-lane highway spanning from Sarai Kale Khan in Delhi to UP Gate and then rode in an open car, waving at crowds gathered on either sides of the highway.

The roadshow started from Nizamuddin bridge, the start of the about 9-km first leg of the expressway.

After a 6-km roadshow, Modi flew to Baghpat in Uttar Pradesh to inaugurate the Eastern Peripheral Expressway, whose launch came after the Supreme Court said it should be done before May 31.

The Rs 7,500-crore Delhi-Meerut Expressway will cut down the travel time between the two cities to 45 minutes from the current 150 minutes, whereas the Rs 11,000-crore Eastern Peripheral Expressway (EPE) is India's first smart and green highway, will help around 50,000 vehicles to skirt Delhi while plying between UP and Haryana.

The Delhi-Meerut expressway will do away with 31 traffic signals on the Delhi-Meerut road and make it signal-free.

EPE is India's first highway to be lit by solar power, besides having provisions of rain water harvesting every 500 metre on both sides.

It also showcases 36 national monuments and 40 fountains.

Addressing a public rally in Baghpat, Modi said the speed of highway-construction has reached 27 km a day from the mere 12 km a day during the Congress regime, while last year 10 crore people undertook air journeys.

During his address, he also targeted the Opposition parties for spreading "lies and rumours" on issues ranging from dilution of anti-Dalit atrocities law to farmer issues.

Modi claimed that people who are used to worshipping only one family have started opposing the country in their zeal to oppose him.

"Truth is that the Congress and its allies either create obstacles or make fun of any work done for the uplift of poor, Dalits and tribals. To them, the country's development too is a joke. To them, Swachh Bharat, free cooking gas connection to poor women, building toilets and opening bank accounts for poor are a joke," he said.

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Modi inaugurates two expressways

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