New Delhi: The Centre has undertaken highway projects worth Rs 50,000 crore to tackle traffic congestions in the national capital, which is battling against the problem of pollution, Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari said Saturday. In addition, projects worth Rs 5,000 crore are being implemented to check pollution in the river Yamuna, Gadkari — who also holds the water resources and river development portfolio — said after inaugurating a four-lane flyover at Dhaula Kuan junction here.
The minister said this flyover is the first step towards developing a signal-free corridor to the Indira Gandhi International Airport and efforts are on to complete all other projects on the corridor in the next three months. “With inauguration of this flyover, a major bottleneck has been removed as traffic jam here not only caused delays but also created pollution. The remaining work on the corridor will be completed in three months,” he said.
“We have undertaken road projects worth Rs 50,000 crore in Delhi… Pollution was a major problem in Delhi…so is traffic jam… we are working to reduce pollution. On Yamuna, we have undertaken projects worth Rs 5,000 crore. Delhi will get rid of water and air pollution,” the road transport minister said.
Talking about Dhaula Kuan flyover, Gadkari said the project will bring a much needed relief to commuters as they will not have to miss their flights due to traffic congestions now. The flyover, located near Dhaula Kuan metro station on NH-8, has been built in a record time of 136 days and will be reducing the waiting time at Dhaula Kuan traffic signal. “The flyover, which will reduce the waiting time at the traffic light by 30 minutes at peak hours, is the first step towards development of an eight-lane, signal free Dhaula Kuan-Airport corridor,” the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways said.
The National Highway-8 (New NH-48) is the prime link providing connectivity to the IGI Airport from Delhi and the National Capital Region. “The frequent traffic jams in the corridor result in travel time of 10-30 minutes in crossing this stretch of about 3 km. NHAI has taken up the development of a signal free corridor from Dhaula Kuan interchange to airport at an estimated cost of Rs 270 crore. The work on the project commenced in March, 2018,” it said.
The project had huge challenges in terms of traffic management of about 3 lakhs PCUs (passenger car units) per day, presence of a large number of civil and defence utilities, shifting of defence infrastructure and getting security clearances, it added. Besides the flyover, the complete signal free Dhaula Kuan-Airport corridor consists of widening of Dhaula Kuan-IGI corridor from six-lane to eight-lane, a three-lane flyover from Janakpuri road to merge with NH-8, three-lane vehicular underpass at Parade Road junction, 3 PUPs, 2 VUPs and an FOB for pedestrians. This project would be in addition to the nine other projects being implemented for decongesting NCR Delhi.