The ambitious Hinduhridaysamrat Balasaheb Thackeray Samruddhi Mahamarg Phase 1 between Nagpur and Shirdi was expected to be open for traffic from May 1st, 2021 however it will delay due to the prevailing Covid-19 situation. The Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) is undertaking this expressway construction work.
According to an official from the MSRDC, who did not wish to be named said, "Workers are leadving the site due to the surge in Covid-19 cases across Maharashtra. The situation in Northeastern part of the state is grim therefore the project is affected. Besides, the restrictions imposed by the government to control the situation has further affected the raw material supply."
The entire expressway is 701 kilometres long and till March 31st 2021 about 52.6 per cent of financial progress and 55 per cent of the civil progress has been recorded, as per the MSRDC.
The official further asserted, the Phase 1 inauguration of Samruddhi Mahamarg may delay by two months and if lockdown is imposed as state government plans to prevent the situation from getting out of control the delay may further extend, said the official.
According to plans, the MSRDC after starting the Phase 1, was to open up the second phase of 103 km between Shirdi and Igatpuri in December 2021 while the remaining 78 km between Igatpuri and Wadpe near Mumbai to be commissioned on May 1, 2022. However, due to the Covid-19 situation all phase deadlines may be eventually affected.
The expressway connecting 10 districts, 26 talukas and 392 villages once ready will cut down the travel time between Nagpur and Mumbai from existing 16 to eight hours. Currently, to reach Nagpur, one has to take NH3 (Mumbai-Dhule) and then NH6 (Dhule -Nagpur) comprising 800 kilometres.