Union Minister for Shipping and Water Resources Nitin Gadkari
Union Minister for Shipping and Water Resources Nitin Gadkari

Gadkari refutes reports of PM's absence causing delay in Eastern Expressway

ANI | Updated: May 10, 2018 17:20 IST

New Delhi [India], May 10 (ANI): Union Minister for Shipping and Water Resources, Nitin Gadkari, on Thursday refuted reports that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's unavailability for inaugurating the Eastern Peripheral Expressway project as the cause of delay.
Speaking to ANI, Gadkari said, "The Eastern Expressway is still under construction. It will be completed soon. We'll take a date from the Prime Minister (Modi) for its inauguration and will immediately open it. He has no connection with the delay in the opening of the expressway. We were left with little construction work, and that is why we shifted the date."
The Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday ordered the much-delayed Eastern Peripheral Expressway to be thrown open to the public from June 1, adding that it will help to decongest Delhi.
The National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) counsel told the apex court that Prime Minister Modi was supposed to inaugurate the project when he cancelled it due to prior commitments last month.
A bench of Justices Madan B. Lokur and Deepak Gupta said that even if the Prime Minister could not inaugurate the expressway by then, any further delay will not be in the interest of the people.
The Eastern Expressway is a six-lane highway that connects Kundli to Palwal in Haryana via Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh. When opened, it will help to decongest Delhi by diverting around two lakh vehicles.
The expressway runs for 135 km and is touted as India's smartest highway.
The other half of the project, the Western Peripheral Expressway, which will connect Kundli to Palwal via Manesar in Haryana is currently under construction. (ANI)