A road trip between Mumbai and Nagpur will soon take just 10 hours — nearly half the time it currently takes to complete the journey.
Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Friday announced his government will build an 800-km-long expressway connecting Mumbai with Nagpur by September 2019.
It will be second expressway in the state after Mumbai-Pune expressway, built during the Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) regime between 1995-1999, under then public works minister Nitin Gadkari. The new expressway will connect four major cities of Maharashtra — Mumbai, Nashik, Aurangabad, and Nagpur.
The estimated cost of the proposed Mumbai-Nagpur expressway is Rs30,000 crore. The government plans to develop information technology (IT) parks, smart cities and education complexes along it.
The six-lane expressway (Fadnavis called it communication super expressway) will be a controlled access highway and will be designed for high-speed vehicular traffic, with all traffic flow regulated.
“This expressway will go through three regions and connect four divisional headquarters with Mumbai. It will primarily connect Mumbai, north Maharashtra, Marathwada and Vidarbha. It will boost the development of Maharashtra by going beyond the Mumbai-Nashik-Pune golden triangle,” Fadnavis said in the Assembly.
“It will be the first time a super expressway connects the main cities in the state. It will have CCTVs and will be equipped with fibre optic cables,” he said.
The Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) will build the expressway in coordination with the state and the Centre. Sources said this will be done through the public-private partnership (PPP) model.
The project will be completed in two phases. In the first phase, four lanes will be built. In the second phase, the government proposes to concretise the road, add two more lanes, build tunnels and the exit roads that will connect to smaller cities and villages.