Solar panels and lights stolen, beautification defaced – Eastern Peripheral Expressway two weeks after inauguration

On 27 May Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the 135 KM Eastern Peripheral Expressway acting as a bypass to Delhi. The Rs 11,000 crore expressway completed within 500 days, set itself apart from other highways, thanks to the renewable energy initiatives along the length of it.

As reported, the expressway became the first Indian highway having its lighting completely powered by solar energy. To achieve this, eight solar power plants with a combined capacity of 4 mega watt were established. Besides this, rainwater collecting centres were set up at every 500 metre of the road.

Sadly, just two weeks after the expressway’s inauguration, its renewable innovations have started to cut a sorry state after being marred by thievery.

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As per a Hindi News18 report, solar panels, lamp posts and fencing protecting the expressway has been reported stolen. A National Highways Authorities of India (NHAI) official quoted by the report claimed that, the panels and their batteries were set up at inter changes, despite which they were stolen. He claimed that electric wires have also been stolen from the highway. A video carried by the media outfit claims that even lights illuminating the underpasses have been taken away.

Incidentally the expressway was beautified by installing fountains and replicas of national monuments like India Gate, Sarnath, Qutb Minar along the highway, which too were not spared. As per the report, the fountain equipment was stolen and India Gate was defaced.

An Amar Ujala report has claimed that the loss due to the thievery runs into lakhs. As per the report, the NHAI is in the process of making a list of the stolen and damaged equipment.

Incidentally this isn’t the only time a state of the art public property has been ruined in no time in India. We had reported how headphones were stolen, interactive screens vandalised and toilets were not flushed during Tejas express’s maiden trip.

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