Work on Delhi-Mumbai Expressway to start by December, end in 3 years
The work on the Rs 1-trillion expressway, connecting Delhi and Mumbai, will begin from December this year and conclude within three years, Union road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari has said.
The government had announced the ambitious project this April.
At the time, the road was to run parallel to the existing highway (NH-8). However, due to the high land acquisition cost, the alignment was changed to run it more eastwards.
As per the new plan, the expressway will start from Gurugram, on the outskirts of Delhi, and run parallel to the existing highway up to Jaipur.
From Jaipur, it will will turn eastwards to Alwar, the tribal district of Jhabua and Ratlam in western MP and then move westwards to Baroda.
“We will begin the work on the Rs 1-trillion Delhi-Mumbai expressway from end-December and it will be completed within 30-36 months. Money is not a problem at all. NHAI can raise plenty of cheap money from the market,” Gadkari told reporters at JNPT last week.
The minister added that the new alignment has saved the government over Rs 16,000 crore in land acquisition cost.
While an acre is coming in at Rs 7 crore according to the original alignment, the new alignment has brought it down to Rs 80 lakh a hectare. The land alone will cost around Rs 6,000 crore.
“The expressway will stretch across the states covering two of the nation’s most backward districts, Mewat in Haryana and Dahod in Gujarat. The whole route will be: Delhi-Gurugram-Mewat-Kota-Ratlam-Godhra-Vadodara-Surat-Dahisar -Mumbai,” he said.
The expressway will cut the travel time by half between the two metros from 24 hours to 12 hours for cars, and from 44 hours to 22-22 hours for trucks. The distance will come down from 1,450 to 1,250 km as well, the minister said.
Gadkari said the biggest objective of the project is to decongest Delhi-NCR as with all the truck traffic which now pass through the outskirts of Delhi will ply past the already congested and polluted national capital. About three lakh vehicles daily ply on the NH-8.
He had earlier said, to speed up the work, the construction will start at 40 different locations simultaneously.
Gadkari, however, did not say how much of the land is already acquired.