Indian Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari has laid a foundation stone for the six-lane highway that will connect Akshardham with Eastern Peripheral Expressway (EPE) junction on Baghpat Road.

The 31.3km project is expected to significantly cut traffic and pollution levels in the Delhi National Capital Region (NCR).

The road will pass through Akshardham-Geeta Colony-Shastri Park-Khazuri Khas-Delhi/UP border-Mandola-EPE Intersection.

Construction of the high-speed signal-free highway project will be in two phases. During the first phase, a 14.75km section from Akshardham to Delhi/UP border will be built.

During the second phase, the remaining 16.57km stretch from Delhi/UP border to EPE Intersection will be established. In addition, the road corridor will have a 19km elevated section.

“The estimated cost of the project is $396.3m.”

In a statement, India’s Ministry of Road Transport & Highways said: “The estimated cost of the project is Rs28.2bn ($396.3m). The project includes construction of 3+3 lane service roads on either side of the highway, eight new underpasses, seven ramps connecting major roads, 15 major junctions, 34 minor junctions, and over-bridges at Delhi-Shahdara, New Delhi-Anand Vihar railway lines and Dilshad Garden-ISBT Metro Line.”

Gadkari said that works worth Rs500bn ($7.026bn) have been sanctioned for road construction around Delhi.

He added that these works will help reduce air pollution in the capital city caused by traffic congestion.

The 90km Delhi-Meerut Express Highway will be operational by April. Work on the Dwarka Expressway will cost Rs100bn ($1.405bn).

Construction of Saharanpur Express Road has already started. Completion of this and several other road projects are intended to improve traffic flow in NCR.