15/12/2016 5:34 PM IST | Updated 15/12/2016 5:44 PM IST

Eastern And Western Peripheral Expressways To Open By August 2017, Will Reduce Delhi Pollution, Says Nitin Gadkari

He said the Centre was working seriously in decongesting the national capital and improve its air quality.

Bloomberg via Getty Images

NEW DELHI -- Eastern and Western peripheral expressways, being constructed at a cost of ₹15,000 crore, are expected to be thrown open by August next year and the two roads will reduce Delhi's congestion by 50 percent besides cutting its pollution, Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari said on Thursday.

He said the Centre was working seriously in decongesting the national capital and improve its air quality.

"We are building easterly and westerly bypass with a cost of ₹15,000 crore. It was to be completed in two-and-a-half years. But following the Prime Minister's directive, we will complete the project in 400 days. I am happy to announce that we will be inaugurating it in August. Construction of this single road will cut down air pollution and congestion in Delhi by 50 percent," he said.

The eastern and western expressways were planned in 2006 following a Supreme Court order to construct a ring road for bypassing non-Delhi bound vehicles moving between neighbouring states.

Addressing the 3rd India Health and Wellness Summit here, Gadkari also said solid waste from Ghazipur sanitary landfill site in East Delhi will be used in road construction.

"The Central Road Research Organisation after six months of research found that solid with segregating plastic, metal and glass could be used for road construction. The whole garbage at Ghazipur will now be used up for road construction," he said.

Linking health with problems of air pollution, fossil fuels, solid and liquid waste, the minister said diversification of agriculture for harnessing power and energy was needed to meet the challenges faced by cities.

He said his ministry was working with other ministries concerned for making Euro VI emission norms mandatory before April 1, 2020.

He cited that 70 projects have been envisaged to recycle sewage and industrial effluents as part of efforts to rid the Ganga river of pollution.

Gadkari also suggested Amul, which exports soya bean cake rich in protein, to be converted into a value added, cheap food to solve the problem of malnourishment faced by poor in the country.

"The soya bean cake, after extraction of oil, contains 49 per cent protein. It is exported for feeding meat producing animal. I think it could be turned into protein rich food to be used to combat malnutrition in the country," he said.

Bollywood star Nana Patekar, Amul India MD RS Sodhi and Chairman and MD of Hero Cycles Pawan Munjal also addressed the inaugural session of the summit.

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