Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said that the proposed Nagpur-Mumbai Super Communication Expressway — covering a distance of 710-km and connecting 10 districts — will be a game-changer for Maharashtra, and benefit farmers and investors alike.
The ambitious expressway, which will reduce the travel time between originating and terminating stops by seven hours, will start from Nagpur and pass through 30 talukas of Wardha, Amravati, Washim, Buldhana, Jalna, Aurangabad, Ahmednagar, Nashik, Thane, Mumbai and finally connecting ports. CM’s pet project will have 22 nodes, or prosperity hubs, which include truck terminuses, commercial sites, knowledge city, IT industries, manufacturing units, etc, said Fadnavis, who launched the proposal last month. The government aims to complete the expressway by October 2019.
The tenders for the project are likely to be floated next month and it will be completed by December 2018. Unveiling his grand vision to change economic prospects of 45% population engaged in agriculture contributing 11% to state GDP, Fadnavis said that the Rs46,000-crore project will lead to a turnaround in agricultural sector.
The expressway will usher in prosperity, boost agro-based industries, attract globally competitive manufacturing units in Vidarbha and Marathwada, and will place Maharashtra ahead of other states by at least 20 years, Fadnavis said.
“This road will pave the way for development of Vidarbha and Marathwada. It will be possible for farm produce to reach Mumbai from Nagpur in eight hours. This will immensely benefit the farmers of the two backward regions,” he added.
Taking a leaf out of the Amaravathi model (Andhra Pradesh) to acquire land, the state has adopted land pooling approach offering cash, developed land annuity-based returns to farmers, which makes them partners in the project.
The six-lane super communication highway would require 9,000 hectares of land. “So far, the response from farmers, particularly from dry-land ryots, has been excellent,” he said.
“We will pay farmers, who voluntarily give land for the project, an amount of Rs 20,000-40,000 per acre for a period of 10 years with assured increase on annuity basis. Moreover, farmers will get back around one-fourth of the area or a developed plot. This is the first time that the Maharashtra government will pool land for such a large project,” he said.
There will be 24 interchanges and 23 nodes along the road which will be built across ten districts. District collectors and revenue departments of these districts have been holding regular meetings with farmers to explain the benefits of land pooling, said Radheshyam Mopalwar, the managing director of the Maharashtra state road development corporation.
Fadnavis rules out acquiring Bandra sea link land for project
Scotching media speculation over acquiring land near the Bandra-Worli sea link, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said it will not be used for the mega project.
In fact, this 30-acre land, which is partially encroached by slum-dwellers owing allegiance to a former minister of the opposition party, has been fenced to save it from further encroachments.
“This land will be transferred to Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation Ltd (the executing agency in the expressway project) and in no case, it will be sold,” Fadnavis said.