Soon, commuters will be able to cross Kasara Ghat in just eight minutes. This third route will pass through the Sahyadri plain once Samruddhi Mahamarg is open for traffic, informed an official from the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC), which is the project implementation authority.
Currently, one can travel through Kasara Ghat through railways and roadways. Through roadways, if a commuter is travelling from Igatpuri to Kasara (one-way road), they would spend around 15 to 20 minutes. The official stated, "As per the proposed design speed limit of 120km at Samruddhi Mahamarg, if approved, the travel time will reduce greatly. Also, safety will be ensured."
The Highway Police currently has restricted the speed limit for vehicles to 100kms/hr.
The official further said that the 7.6km long twin tunnel, which will be the new and third route to cross Kasara Ghat, is being built by controlled blasting technique. So far, 75 pre cent of the overall excavation work of these twin tunnels has been completed.
Infact, the said tunnel is one of the longest tunnels of Maharashtra that will come up along the route at Kasara Ghat, Igatpuri, reportedly.
Meanwhile, the plan to commission Nagpur to Shirdi (Phase 1) in Samruddhi Mahamarg had been delayed amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, the said stretch is expected to be open in September or October this year, only if the situation improves, Free Press Journal had reported.
The 700-km long expressway with three lanes on both the sides once ready will reduce the travel time between Nagpur and Mumbai by six hours. Currently, one has to take NH3 (Mumbai-Dhule) and then NH6 (Dhule-Nagpur) to reach Nagpur, travelling 800kms.