Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways of India, Nitin Gadkari has set a deadline for the completion of the Delhi-Mumbai Expressway.
Speaking to a leading daily, the Minister said, “January 26, 2023 has been set as the deadline for the Delhi-Mumbai Expressway and there will be no compromise on this.”
After the completion of the Expressway, the time taken from Mumbai to Delhi will be cut nearly in half, compared to the 24 hours it takes at present.
"We will complete the flagship Delhi-Mumbai Express Highway in the next three years. The work will be done in 51 packages and work has already been started on 18. This will be India's longest expressway at 1,320 km and will reduce travel time between Delhi and Mumbai from 24 hours to 13 hours," the road transport and highways minister said.
“For me, it’s as prestigious a project as the Mumbai-Pune expressway was,” the minister added.
The government plans to complete three of the 22 expressways (including the Delhi-Mumbai Expressway) and green corridors in the next three years, the Union minister said.
The plan is to complete these 22 projects comprising 7,500 km of greenfield expressways and corridors by FY25 at a cost of Rs 3.10 lakh crore.
The 1,320-km long Delhi-Mumbai Expressway will pass through the states of Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. The minister had also said that he wishes to convert the Expressway into an “electric highway”.
Gadkari added, "We have saved about Rs 16,000 crore on land acquisition front alone as land could be acquired at a cost of Rs 80 lakh per hectare for the project." adding that the expressway will unlock new economic opportunities in hinterland districts of Haryana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat.
According to reports, nearly 85-90% of the land has been acquired by the government and that the work has already begun on some of it. A senior National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) official was also quoted as saying that at every 50-km interval on the Expressway, amenities such as food courts and fuel stations would be constructed.
(With inputs from agencies)