Centre proposes Rs 20,000 crore plan to tackle Delhi congestion

In one of its most ambitious plans to decongest Delhi, the government has come up with a Rs 20,000-crore proposal to build eight radial roads to redirect traffic leaving the city to free up choked roads, improve air quality and reduce accidents.

The radial roads of Outer Ring Road — some of whose stretches will be elevated — will connect to the Eastern and Western Peripheral Expressways. These two ring roads coming up around Delhi will provide alternate routes to traffic not bound for the city. The two expressways are under construction and highways minister Nitin Gadkari has set a 400-day deadline to complete it.

Over 88.50 lakh vehicles are registered in Delhi and approximately 2 lakh outbound vehicles pass through the city every day.

“The roads will decongest the settlement areas through an elevated corridor or by re-routing the networks by a green-field alignment,” said a senior highways ministry official. “The idea is that the traffic going out of Delhi should not enter city roads and congest it.”

A joint committee comprising officials of the road transport ministry and the Delhi government has been formed to finalise the proposal. “We made a presentation before Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday when he came to meet highways minister Nitin Gadkari, and a decision was taken to finalise it at the earliest,” said a senior highways ministry official.

The total length of the eight roads will be 301km. Once approved, it will be executed by the NHAI, DDA, Delhi government, Noida and Greater Noida authorities.

However, road ministry officials admit that building elevated roads in Delhi won’t be easy.

Cost and land acquisition issues will also have to be resolved before giving a go-ahead to the project as many of them are new alignments. Acquiring land for the project can also be tricky in the Capital, where vacant land is in short supply.

Besides the eight radial roads, the highways ministry has also proposed three new links to NH-8 to further decongest the Delhi-Gurgaon road, Palam area, Aya Nagar, Vasant Kunj and MG Road.

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