Mumbai-Nagpur e-way to turn into IT corridor

  • Surendra P Gangan and Saurabh Katkurwar, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Aug 19, 2015 20:07 IST

The 800-km Super Express Highway between Mumbai and Nagpur will become the first highway in the state to go hi-tech.

It will have information technology (IT) parks, IT companies, educational institutions with Wi-Fi access and mechanism to detect traffic violation.

The second phase of the project has been proposed to be built from the revenue earned from the IT parks and the betterment charges levied on the facilities.

The Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC), in a recent presentation to chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, has proposed three financial models for the construction of the highway which is expected to cost Rs 32,000 crore.

Four-lane roads will be built in the first phase. The first phase and land acquisition for the second phase will cost around Rs10,000 crore and the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) will bear 40% of the amount.

MSRDC managing director Anil Diggikar said, “We have plans to build business parks and IT parks along the highway. Once the funding model for the project is finalised, we will chalk out the plan for the IT parks.”

Though the model of Build, Operate and Transfer with the provision of toll tax is most likely to be adopted for the expressway, the MSRDC has also suggested the option of cash contract with NHAI and MSRDC sharing the funding in 4:6 ratio. In this model, the annual toll collection would be Rs400 crore and the repayment component is expected to be Rs1,000 crore.

In the third model, the project may be undertaken with the annuity payment by the state government after completion of the first phase.

“We are also in talks with the Centre for its financial assistance for the project,” Diggikar said.

The expressway’s construction is expected to start by September next year and the first phase would be completed by September 2018.

The second phase is expected to be completed by October 2019.

The other facilities proposed on the expressway are medical/ trauma care centres, rest areas at every 50 metres, ambulance and towing facilities, filling stations, playground and changing rooms for children.

Diggikar said: “The chief minister had asked us to take advice from experts on the funding model for the project. We are carrying out studies which will be put before the state government in the next 15 days.”

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