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Major projects entailing an investment of Rs 319.3 billion are in the pipeline to decongest the national capital, including the development of the Dwarka Expressway at a cost of Rs 60 billion, Union minister Nitin Gadkari said.
The initiatives, some of which are progressing fast, are in line with the Modi government's vision to ensure seamless flow of traffic in the National Capital Region (NCR) besides minimising vehicular pollution, Road Transport and Highways Minister Gadkari told PTI.
"We have undertaken projects worth Rs 319.3 billion to decongest Delhi and the NCR region and minimise vehicular pollution, which has become a major problem," the minister said.
Work on the Rs 12,000 crore Eastern Peripheral Expressway and Rs 60 billion Delhi-Meerut Expressway is in full swing and bids have been invited for the Rs 60 billion 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 2.6 billion besides detailed project report (DPR) is in progress for Rs 50 billion 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 NHAI and DDA on a 50:50 basis.
Master Plan for Delhi has proposed 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.
It was also decided that DDA will hand over encumbrance free land.
Gadkari said apart from UER II, bids have been invited for development of Gurgaon-Sohna road with elevated highways/ six-lane road with service roads. The project will cost Rs 15 billion.
Besides these projects, "90 per cent progress have been achieved in the development of major injunctions on NH 8 in Gurgaon to be executed at a cost of Rs 10 billion and construction of a flyover at Hero Honda Chowk entailing Rs 1.7 billion cost," the minister said.
About 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 now.
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.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had on December 31, 2015 laid the foundation stone of the expressway.
As far as the Eastern Peripheral Expressway is concerned, the National Highways Authority of India (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.