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Mumbai-Pune travel time to reduce by 25 min, as MSRDC plans 13km link on Expressway

Rs 5,300cr project to link Khalapur and Kusgaon; work will start after monsoon

mumbai Updated: May 18, 2018 12:15 IST
Swapnil Rawal
Swapnil Rawal
Hindustan Times
Mumbai-Pune expressway,MSRDC,Mumbai-Pune travel time to reduce
Currently it take 3 hours to reach Pune from Mumbai using the expressway.(HT Photo)

Your travel time between Mumbai and Pune is set to reduce by 25 minutes in the next three years, as the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) has shortlisted two firms to build the 13.3-km link between Khalapur and Kusgaon on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway.

Currently, road travel between the two cities takes around 3 hours.

The plan, termed capacity augmentation, aims to create tunnels and additional lanes to reduce snarls on the expressway. The link will start at Khopoli through an interchange to Kusgaon at the Pune-end of the expressway.

Once the link is built, motorists heading to Pune can avoid the ghat section, the most critical part where heavy vehicles slow down the traffic. The work on the project is expected to start after the monsoon.

Afcons Infrastructure and Hyderabad-based Navyuga Engineering have emerged as the lowest bidders for the project that has been divided in two packages.

The bids, which were opened on Thursday evening, are above the MSRDC’s estimated cost of ₹5,300 crore.

“For package one, which entails construction of two tunnels and a small portion of the viaduct, Navyuga Engineering Ltd was the lowest bidder. Our estimated cost was ₹2,071 crore, while the bid received was for ₹2,696 crore. Afcons Infrastructure was the lowest bidder for package two of the project, which entails construction of the viaduct. Our estimated cost was ₹1,243 crore and the bid was worth ₹​1491.52 crore,” said a senior MSRDC official.

The project will be implemented on engineering, procurement and construction model. The funding will be arranged by pledging toll to financial institutions, senior MSRDC officials said. “The bids are higher than our estimation, but these were made around two years ago. MSRDC board will decide if there is a need to negotiate. The companies are expected to get the letter of acceptance (LoA) by the end of the month,” the official added.

MSRDC still has to obtain environmental clearance for 74.7 hectares of forest land needed for the link.

First Published: May 18, 2018 12:15 IST