Mumbai-Nagpur Expressway will be inaugurated by PM Modi on Dec 11

staff reporter

Mumbai: The section between Nagpur and Shirdi on the Mumbai-Nagpur Expressway will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Dec 11 on the outskirts of the Orange city. 

Of the total 701km of the Expressway, 520km will be made open for public use between Nagpur and Shirdi after the inauguration function to be held near the Waifal toll post of the Expressway.

The Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) has been working towards throwing it open during Diwali as a gift to the state and had approached the Prime Minister for his availability. It was only earlier this week that the state government got a confirmation for Dec 11, which is three days after the Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh legislative election results scheduled for Dec 8.

Officially known as Hindu Hrudaysamrat Balasaheb Thackeray Maharashtra Samruddhi Mahamarg, it will connect 10 districts, 26 talukas and 392 villages and will cut down travel time between Nagpur and Mumbai by half from 16 to eight hours. The access control road has six lanes, three lanes in each direction and two roads as service lanes.

The Expressway has been designed for vehicles to ply at 150kmph. However, the state through a notification has capped the maximum permissible speed to 120kmph on non-hilly terrain and 100kmph on hilly stretches for vehicles with up to eight passenger seats.

Likewise, motorists with nine or more passengers will have to limit their acceleration to 100kmph on flat surfaces and 80kmph on hilly sections. For heavy vehicles, the speed limit on both types of terrains has been capped at 80kmph. Two-wheelers and auto-rickshaws have been barred on the greenfield project.

The project’s cost stands at a whopping Rs55,332 crore, including the engineering cost of Rs40,000 crore. Over Rs22,000 crore has already been spent. For the project, the MSRDC has raised debt to the tune of Rs28,000 crore.

The MSRDC has plans to develop 19 new towns along the Expressway, of which it has prepared a development plan for eight. Out of these eight new towns, land acquisition for six will be completed by June next year. The idea is to get investments and establish various industries in the new towns.

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