• First leg of KMP expressway opens after 7-year delay

    After a delay of nearly seven years, the first leg of Kundli-Manesar-Palwal (KMP) expressway – Palwal (NH-2) to Manesar (NH-8) – was opened to traffic on Tuesday. This will work as a bypass for vehicles coming from Jaipur side towards Faridabad or Agra and similarly for those heading towards Jaipur and Mumbai from Agra or Kolkata.

    This is likely to reduce traffic on Delhi roads since at present the vehicles coming from all NHs use the national capital as transit. For the first two months, users don’t need to pay for using this 52 km access-control expressway stretch. However, later cars will need to pay Rs 1.3 per km while heavy vehicles have to pay Rs 4.5 per km as toll charge. Four toll plazas have been built to ensure that commuters pay for the stretch they travel rather than paying for the entire corridor.

    “Once we complete the WPE and the Eastern Peripheral Expressway (EPE), traffic on Delhi roads will reduce by half and there will be less air pollution,” highway minister Nitin Gadkari said after inaugurating the project. Later in the day, addressing industry leaders at a CII summit, he said there is a proposal to develop logistic hubs along the two expressways so that big godowns can shift out of Delhi.

    Haryana government officials said though the remaining Palwal and Manesar stretch would be completed in the next one year, the already completed stretch can work as a bypass for Delhi. “We have very good highway network – a mix of NH and state highways – that commuters can use to travel between NH-2 ( Delhi-Agra) and NH-1 (Delhi-Panipat). They will end up travelling only 10 km extra, but can avoid Delhi’s traffic congestion,” said an official.

    He added they will publicise this alternate route for commuters to save their time and also for benefit of Delhi, which has become one of the most polluted cities across the globe. The Haryana government has already earmarked 1 km on both sides of KMP as controlled area for future development and a series of “theme cities” have been planned. Now these projects will revive and help push economic activities, sources said.

    On Tuesday, Gadkari also promised major relief to lakhs of residents of Palwal by announcing to build an elevated corridor on NH-2 covering all the four intersections within the city. Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal made this demand. The minister also promised to undertake construction of a bridge across the Yamuna on Hasanpur road connecting Greater Noida.  

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