Supreme Court Directs Centre To Throw Open Eastern Peripheral Expressway By 31 May, Gadkari Says Not Till Road Is CompleteThe Eastern Peripheral Expressway under construction (Sonu Mehta/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

The Supreme Court of India today (10 May) pulled up the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) for delays in throwing open the Eastern Peripheral Expressway that circumvents the National Capital Territory (NCT) of Delhi, reports PTI. It asked Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari why the ministry was waiting for the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dates to inaugurate the road.

The Eastern Peripheral Expressway (EPE) and Western Peripheral Expressway (WPE) form a ring road or beltway around the NCT to allow vehicles that are going beyond the capital but not entering it to bypass it at relatively high speeds.

The apex court had in 2005 the Centre to build a road to bypass the capital and set a deadline of July 2016 to decongest and ‘depollute’ Delhi. Planning on the expressway started in 2006 and both roads are now nearing completion. A section of the WPE was thrown open in 2016.

The road, planned to be opened up on 29 April, however is still closed for motorists. The court directed Gadkari to inaugurate it himself if Modi was unable to do it.

Gadkari, however has said that a rail-over-bridge (RoB) was pending and although Modi had twice given dates to throw the road open, it was postponed till the ROB was completed.

The counsel for the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) assured the court that the road would be opened up to the general public on 29 May.

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