Union transport minister Nitin Gadkari on Saturday said that the Centre has sanctioned projects worth Rs 50,000 crore to decongest Delhi and save it from air pollution, which has become a serious problem. Ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, the BJP-led Central government is likely to inaugurate a number of road infrastructure projects. Speaking at an event to lay the foundation stone for the Rs 2,820 crore corridor between Akshardham and Eastern Peripherial Expressway (EPE), Gadkari said that work on Dwarka Expressway (on Delhi side) and Kalindi Kunj-Sohna via Faridabad will start soon. “Delhi is facing two main problems — air pollution and water pollution. We have approved projects worth Rs 50,000 crore to combat these. In Delhi’s history, funds have never been sanctioned on such a large scale,” said Gadkari. The Akshardham and Eastern Peripherial Expressway (EPE) — a part of the Akshardham-Saharanpur (Uttar Pradesh) corridor — will be completely elevated and pass through densely populated areas like Khajuri Khas and Geeta Colony.Gadkari said that Northeast Delhi MP and Delhi Bharatiya Janata Party’s Delhi unit president Manoj Tiwari has been persistently requesting him to do something about the traffic situation in this part of the city.Tiwari said, “The only demand of people in my constituency was to solve the traffic congestion problem. I had promised them that I will resolve it. I have made all possible efforts but due to the obstructions by the Delhi government, our efforts could not bear fruits. But Gadkari ji has helped us in addressing this problem now.” Union Ministers Satyapal Singh, General (Retd) VK Singh, Vijay Goel, BJP MP Maheish Girri, Leader of Opposition in Delhi Assembly Vijender Gupta, and other senior party leaders, were present at Saturday’s event. The six-lane access controlled corridor will connect Akshardham in east Delhi to the Eastern Peripheral Expressway junction on Baghpat Road. The project will be completed in two parts: Akshardham to Khajuri Khas/UP Border and Khauri Khas/ UP Border to Mandola-Eastern Peripheral Expressway (EPE) intersection. The project is part of the 155km long corridor, which has been declared National Highway 709B, between Akshardham and Saharanpur in UP. Listing out the other projects sanctioned by his ministry to decongest Delhi and neighbouring Gurugram, Gadkari said that the Rs 10,000 crore Dwarka Expressway (the work in the Delhi portion of which is yet to start), Rs 4,000 crore Urban Extension Road 2 (the third ring road) and Rs 7,000 crore Delhi-Meerut expressway will play a big role in addressing the problem of traffic jam in the city. “We have sought time from the Prime Minister to lay the foundation for the Dwarka Expressway (work on Delhi side is yet to start) next week. We have also sanctioned the work for Kalindi Kunj-Faridabad-Sohna Road corridor and UER 2,” Gadkari added. Talking about the Modi government’s commitment to deliver on its promises, Gadkari said that the Delhi-Meerut Expressway, a part of which was inaugurated last year by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, will be fully operational by March end. “From April 1, you can reach Meerut in just 40-minutes from Delhi. Earlier, it used to take 3.5 hours,” said Gadkari. The drive to IGI Airport is also likely to get smooth, as the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) is going to complete the work on making Dhaula Kuan to IGI Airport stretch signal-free in the next four months, the highways and transport minister informed. Gadkari said that with the opening of EPE and Western Peripheral Expressway — both projects had been stuck for a long time — the traffic congestion of various national highways passing through Delhi has dramatically reduced. “Today, people from Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and other states don’t have to cross Delhi to go to Mumbai. This has reduced the traffic congestion on national highways passing through Delhi,” he said.