New Delhi: To ensure quicker connectivity, the government plans to build 1,000 km of expressways at an investment of Rs 16,680 crore under its NHDP programme, which include the Vadodara-Mumbai project.
"The central government has approved a plan for constructing 1,000 km of expressways under the National Highways Development Project (NHDP) phase VI at a cost of Rs 16,680 crore on design, build, finance, operate and transfer (DBFOT) basis," Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways Pon Radhakrishnan told the Lok Sabha in a written reply.
The main criterion for the selection of expresswaycorridors is traffic volume, with the government approving the high-density corridor i.e. Vadodara-Mumbai (400 km) for feasibility study, he said.
It was also decided that the remaining 600 km will be selected out of the routes identified on the basis of traffic volume.
The high density corridors approved under NHDP phase VI are Vadodara-Mumbai stretch (400 km) in Gujarat and Maharashtra, Delhi-Meerut (66 km) on NH 58 in Delhi/UP and Bengaluru-Chennai (334 km) on NH 4 in Karnataka-Tamil Nadu, the minister said.
The remaining projects include "Delhi-Jaipur (261 km) on NH 8 in Delhi-Rajasthan, Delhi-Chandigarh (249 km) on NH 1 and NH 22 (now changed to Delhi-Ludhiana-Amritsar-Katra expressway) in Delhi/Punjab/J&K, Kolkata-Dhanbad (277 km) on NH 2 in West Bengal/Jharkhand and Delhi-Agra (200 km) on NH 2 in Delhi/UP," he added.
Out of 66-km length of Delhi-Meerut expressway, 30.63 km length has already been awarded in two packages and contract agreement is executed on March 4, 2016. Radhakrishnan said, "In addition to the above, the government has approved taking up one more expressway, namely eastern peripheral expressway for a length of 135 km in six packages. The construction... has started effective September 14, 2015, with construction period of 30 months."
The progress of these expressways is being monitored closely by the ministry and NHAI has been asked for time-bound construction.