Solar panels, batteries stolen from recently-inaugurated Eastern Peripheral Expressway
The newly-launched Eastern Peripheral Expressway (EPE) in Bagpat, Uttar Pradesh, has seen incidents of theft in the past few days. Solar panels, batteries, iron and underpass lights are among some of the things that have been stolen.
The value of the stolen goods is estimated to be in millions of rupees. The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has taken serious note of this and plans to improve security and enhance fencing around the fixtures.
As per a report by Amar Ujala, these thefts have been taking place between Dasna and Kundli. The report also says that major thefts have occurred between the Khekada over bridge and Dasna. NHAI officials have also confirmed that the spouts of colourful fountains between Dasna and Kundli have been stolen. They are currently preparing a list of the stolen items to assess the damage caused.
In a related news, miscreants have also damaged the canopy of India Gate made on the interchange of Mavi Kalan Village on the EPE.
In a report by the Statesman, Manager of Ghaziabad region of expressway, JS Chauhan, has been quoted as saying, “In the past 1 year during construction of the expressway, miscreants have stolen over 100-tonne steel and fencing wire from different locations. And most of these incidents had occurred in 45 km stretch of Expressway passing through Ghaziabad, Bagpat and Sonepat. A cutting machine was stolen at gunpoint at Mavikala of Bagpat district 7 months ago. It was difficult for contract companies to complete the work in record time under such circumstances.”
The EPE was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on May 27, 2018, in Bagpat, Uttar Pradesh. This 11,000-crore expressway is India’s first smart and green highway. The 135-km stretch was built in a record time of 17 months (510 days). It also has cycling tracks on both sides of the road. By March next year, people would be able to travel from Delhi to Meerut in merely 40 minutes.