Union Road Transport and Highways Minister, Nitin Gadkari has said that the government has undertaken projects worth Rs 31,930 crores, to decongest Delhi and the NCR and minimise vehicular pollution, which has become a major problem. The initiatives, some of which are progressing fast, are in line with the government’s vision to ensure seamless flow of traffic in the National Capital Region (NCR), besides minimising vehicular pollution, Gadkari said.
Work on the Rs 12,000-crore Eastern Peripheral Expressway and the Rs 6,000-crore Delhi-Meerut Expressway are on full swing and bids have been invited for the Rs 6,000-crore project, for development of Dwarka Expressway, he said. “Work has already been awarded for decongestion of Dhaula Kuan-airport corridor, to be executed at a cost of Rs 260 crores, besides a detailed project report (DPR), which is in progress for a Rs 5,000-crore new ring road project (UER II) for Delhi,” Gadkari said.
Last month, chairing a high-level meeting attended by Delhi lieutenant governor Anil Baijal, among others, Gadkari had asked officials to expedite the Urban Extension Road (UER) project. It was also decided that the extra cost of UER II, phase one, will be shared by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and Delhi Development Authority (DDA) on a 50:50 basis. The Master Plan for Delhi, has proposed the UER II, which connects National Highways 1, 10 and 8. This road was proposed to reduce traffic on the Ring Road and Outer Ring Road.
Gadkari said that apart from the UER II, bids have been invited for development of the Gurugram-Sohna Road with elevated highway/ six-lane road with service roads. The project will cost Rs 1,500 crores. Besides these projects, “90 per cent progress has been achieved in development of major injunctions on NH 8 in Gurugram, to be executed at a cost of Rs 1,000 crores and the construction of a flyover at Hero Honda Chowk entailing a cost of Rs 170 crores,” the minister said.
About the Delhi-Meerut Expressway, he said its first leg, which includes India’s first 14-lane highway and 2.5 metre-wide cycle track, is set to be inaugurated anytime. The minister said it is being completed in a record 14 months, as against the scheduled 30 months and will reduce the travel time significantly from Delhi to Meerut to just 45 minutes, from three-four hours at present.
As far as the Eastern Peripheral Expressway is concerned, the NHAI has recently told the Supreme Court that hurdles in its ongoing construction, have been resolved in a satisfactory manner in the states of Uttar Pradesh and Haryana. The 135-km-long expressway envisages signal-free connectivity between Ghaziabad, Faridabad, Gautam Budh Nagar (Greater Noida) and Palwal.