The Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) reportedly completed most of the works of the 7.7-km twin tunnels between Kasara Ghat and Igatpuri.
Works of about 5 km of the twin tunnels between Kasara Ghat and Igatpuri have been done, said an MSRDC official, who did not wish to be named from the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC).
About one-third of the excavation work of the project has been completed. It will be the longest tunnel of the Samruddhi Corridor once the works are completed, said the official.
"The work of the corridor was affected due to uneven rainfall during this monsoon and the pandemic induced lockdown. However, now the work is gaining pace," the official said
The tunneling is being done by using a controlled blasting method. The project works are monitored using drone cameras on the sites regularly to assess the progress, said the official.
The entire corridor up to Bhiwandi is expected to be open for public by September 2022 instead of the previously scheduled deadline of February 2020 due to six months of lockdown. The first phase Nagpur to Shirdi is expected to open on May 1.
"Since Samruddhi Corridor work is divided into different packages, the work cannot be measured on percentage, but on project cost spent.
Therefore, of the total project cost of Rs 32,000 crore, about 30 percent has been spent so far," informed the official.
The 700-km long expressway with three lanes on both the sides once ready will reduce the travel time between Nagpur-Mumbai by six hours.
Currently, one has to take NH3 (Mumbai-Dhule) and then NH6 (Dhule-Nagpur) to reach Nagpur travelling 800 km. The newly built Samruddhi Mahamarg also known as super communication expressway will reduce the distance by about 100 km on this stretch.