A Supreme Court bench of justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta, was apprised by Ghaziabad’s senior superintendent of police (SSP) that the construction work on the Eastern Peripheral Expressway in Ghaziabad has resumed. The lawyer appearing for the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), also endorsed the officer’s statement.
The 135-km-long Eastern Peripheral Expressway envisages signal-free connectivity between Ghaziabad, Faridabad, Gautam Budh Nagar (Greater Noida) and Palwal.
“He (the SSP) says that work in the Ghaziabad segment of the Eastern Periphery Expressway, has resumed from May 2, 2017. This is confirmed by the counsel appearing for NHAI. Presence of the SSP, Ghaziabad is now dispensed with,” the bench said. The apex court had, on May 1, 2017, directed the Ghaziabad’s SSP to remain present before it on May 5, 2017, with full facts of the case.
The NHAI had earlier told the bench that no construction was being carried out in the 25-km stretch in Ghaziabad, due to protests by farmers and lack of police protection to the workers, despite the apex court’s order. It had also said that since the construction activity was stalled due to the farmers’ protest over land acquisition, it might miss the deadline for completing the work. The apex court had earlier asked the director general of police, to provide security for construction work of the expressway, as the work in the stretch was forcibly stopped by the farmers from December 25, 2016.
Besides this, the construction work on the 135-km-long Western Peripheral Expressway, which connects Kundli to Palwal via Manesar in Haryana, was also going on.
The court, which has been hearing a 1985 plea filed by environmentalist MC Mehta on various issues, including vehicular pollution, had asked the Centre in 2005, to build a peripheral expressway around Delhi by July 2016 to decongest and de-pollute the national capital. The two expressways were planned in 2006, following the Supreme Court order to form a ring road outside Delhi for channeling non-Delhi bound traffic, bypassing the national capital.