The first phase of 520 km of the total 701 km Nagpur Mumbai Samruddhi Corridor or super communication expressway will be operational by May 1, 2021. This phase is between the orange city Nagpur and Shirdi. The second phase of 103 km between Shirdi and Igatpuri will be opened for traffic in December 2021 while the remaining 78 km between Igatpuri and Wadpe near Mumbai will be commissioned on May 1, 2022. The Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC), vice chairman and managing director, Radheshyam Mopalwar on Thursday said that the 701 km expressway named after the Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray will be fully operational from May 1, 2022.
It will connect 10 districts, 26 talukas and 392 villages. The expressway will cut down the travel time between Nagpur and Mumbai from 16 to eight hours.
At the virtual interaction, Mopalwar said, of the total project cost of Rs 55,332 crore including engineering cost of Rs 40,000 crore, so far Rs 22,000 crore were spent and nearly 152.17 km has been constructed. MSRDC has raised debt worth Rs 28,000 crore for the project completion.
MSRDC has proposed in all 19 new towns along the expressway of which it has prepared development plan for eight. Out of these eight new towns, land acquisition for six will be completed by June next year. He also added that these new towns will promote various industries and will be designed to accommodate a population of around a lakh.
Mopalwar said around 18,000 labourers were working on site during the nation-wide lockdown due to Covid-19. Many of them returned to their hometown which slowed down the pace of construction. However, over the last two months, the labourers have started resuming work and currently, over 20,000 labourers are working on-site, he added.
According to Mopalwar, wildlife underpass and overpass will be constructed along the expressway to ensure the safety and free movement of wild animals. In addition, wayside amenities will be set up at every 40-50 km on both sides of the Samruddhi Mahamarg and considering the need of the near future, charging points for electric vehicles will also be provided there. Integrated Traffic Management System will be implemented along the expressway to monitor the speed of vehicles, keep a watch on lane cutting and other roadside emergencies.