The 82-km phase 2 and 4 of the Delhi-Meerut Expressway (DME) will open for the public on April 1. The expressway will cut the travel time between the two cities from two hours to about 50 minutes.
The phase 1 of the Delhi-Meerut Expressway from Akshardham to UP Gate (14-km) and phase 3 from Dasna to Hapur (22-km) are already operational. While 19-km phase 2 of the expressway links UP Gate and Dasna, the 32-km-long phase 4 links Dasna and Meerut. The phase 1 was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in May 2018.
The NHAI has set speed limits for commuters using the expresswa. In phase 1, which is in Delhi, the maximum permissible speed limit is 70 kmph. In the remaining three phases, all in Uttar Pradesh, the maximum permissible speed limit is 100 kmph.
To make the tolling system efficient, the NHAI is testing the linking of automatic number plate reader (ANPR) to the FASTag system. The ANPR is a technology that uses optical character recognition on images to read vehicle registration plates to create vehicle location data. The NHAI has installed high definition, high speed cameras throughout the DME.
For the first week, the authority will not charge toll from the commuters. The NHAI said that it will start collecting toll once the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highway approves the rates.
The Delhi-Meerut Expressway will provide 14 lanes connectivity under phase 1 and 2 and six-lane from Dasna. The NHAI has installed about 5000 streetlights on all four phases of the expressway.
Of the total project cost, the NHAI funded 40 per cent under the new ‘Hybrid Annuity Model’ and the remaining portion was arranged by the concessionaire by way of mix of debt/equity of 48:12.