Mumbai-Pune Expressway missing link project deadline extended

Mumbai: Due to the outbreak of novel coronavirus and loss of working days because of lockdown, the Mumbai-Pune Expressway missing link project contractors have been given extra 184 days for completing the work, said an official, who did not wish to be named.

Following this, the revised project completion deadline is now September 2022 from February 2022. "We aim to complete the work and make the connectivity open for public by then," added the official.

Afcons Infrastructure and the Hyderabad-based Navyuga Engineering are the two contractors carrying out this project.

According to the MSRDC, so far ten per cent of the total project work has been finished. And of 10.5km long twin tunnels, total 3.6 km of tunnelling work has been attained till date (1.6 km from Mumbai to Pune and 2km from Pune to Mumbai). The four-lane tunnels will have 24 metres road width — widest in the world — giving sufficient place for the movement of vehicles in case of a breakdown during an emergency situation. The tunnelling is being carried out using control-blasting technology.

The official informed, "With the strength of 700 labours each on tunnel and viaduct construction sites, the project work is being undertaken. Before covid, the manpower strength was 1,000 each, now short of 300 labours on both sites. Therefore, from January 2021 the project work is expected to commence with full speed, as labours are slowly resuming their jobs."

The augmentation of Mumbai-Pune Expressway is being done to lessen the travel time and also to decongest the ghat section of Expressway that is very narrow thus causing slow movement of traffic. Only the civil cost of the project is Rs 4,500 crore, while the total project cost is Rs 6,600 crore.

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