Union Minister Nitin Gadkari today said highway projects worth Rs 55,000 crore would be rolled out in Uttar Pradesh and the work will shortly begin on Delhi-Dehradun project for faster connectivity. "Work is already being done on 89 National Highway projects worth Rs 45,000 crore in Uttar Pradesh. Additional projects worth Rs 55,000 crore would be taken up in the next year, totalling Rs 1 lakh crore," Road Transport and Highways Minister Gadkari said. Addressing a rally after Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of a 14-lane expressway connecting Delhi with Meerut, Gadkari said the project will reduce the distance between the national capital and Meerut to 40-45 minutes from the three hours, at present. He said the expressway will give a big thrust to development in western Uttar Pradesh and will make travel to cities like Dehradun, Muradabad and Bareilly much faster. "Four laning of Muzaffarnagar-Haridwar and Haridwar- Dehradun roads will also be completed by December 2016," he said. He said once the Delhi-Dehradun stretch is completed the travel time will be reduced to about three hours only. About Delhi-Meerut Expressway he said it would be a access controlled highway and 31 traffic signals have been removed from the strech. He said the plans were to take the highway to Lucknow from Dasna. Gadkari said a new 1,000-km highway was also being built at a cost of Rs 11,000 crore to link chardham on a new alignment. Also, a 1,000 km highway project is on anvil to connect the Buddha Circuit in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, he said. He said the government was committed to reduce pollution and a pilot project - Metrino would be launched on a 70-km stretch on Dhaulakuan-Manesar. The work on the project would begin in March. Besides bio-fuel was being promoted to minimise pollution, he said. He said the road building pace, which is at 18 km a day at present will reach 30 km a day by March and projects worth Rs 1.5 lakh crore would start by March. The Rs 7,566 crore Delhi-Meerut expressway includes construction of 28 km long 14-lane Delhi-Dasna section at a cost of Rs 2,869 crore. The construction of 46 km long, six-lane Dasna-Meerut section of Delhi-Meerut Expressway will cost Rs 3,575 crore. Besides six-laning of 22 km long Dasna-Hapur section of NH 24 will cost Rs 1,122 crore, it said. Besides Modi and Gadkari, UP Governor Ram Naik, Science & Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan, Culture and Tourism Minister Mahesh Sharma, MoS for Statistics & Programme Implementation V K Singh and MoS Road Transport and Shipping P Radhakrishnan were also present on the occasion.