The Maharashtra government wants to throw open for traffic phase 1 of the Mumbai-Nagpur Expressway from May this year, state Urban Development Minister Eknath Shinde said on Tuesday.
Phase 1 covers the stretch from Nagpur to Shirdi (in Ahmednagar district).
Speaking to reporters outside the state legislature building here, Shinde reiterated that the government wants to extend the expressway, originally planned to link Mumbai to Nagpur, till Gadchiroli.
Such an extension will ensure the "ambitious and gamechanger" expressway connects the state to Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, he added.
He also said work on the stretch from Mumbai to Nagpur will be completed in a year, adding that the expressway would be "eco-friendly" with the government planting some 11.50 lakh trees along the route.
"We will generate 250 megawatt solar power along the expressway. Some 1,000 farm ponds have also been built along the stretch," the minister said.