Mumbai-Nagpur expressway by 2019: Maharashtra govt

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis today said government was planning to construct an 800-km long expressway between Mumbai and Nagpur, cutting down travel time between the two cities to just ten hours.

This 'Communication Super Expressway' will connect Mumbai and Nagpur passing through Amravati, Aurangabad and Ghoti. The project, in partnership with the Centre, will cost around Rs 30,000 crore and is expected to be completed by September 2019, Fadnavis said.

"We developed India's first expressway between Mumbai and Pune during the Shiv Sena-led regime (in 1995). Now with the new super expressway, our aim is to connect the most backward regions of the state including Vidarbha, Marathwada and North Maharashtra," the Chief Minister added.

The expressway will have six lanes (four in the first phase). "It will also have a superoptical fibre network, CCTV cameras, state of the art facilities like WiFi. It will be in the true sense a communication super expressway."

Wherever possible, IT parks, smart cities and educational hubs will be developed along the new expressway which is expected to cut down the travel time between Mumbai and Nagpur to a mere 10 hours, he said. "The first phase will include land acquisition and construction of a four-lane road.

Six-lane concrete road will be built in the second phase. There would be also service and diversion roads, tunnels and flyovers in the second phase," Fadnavis said. The Chief Minister expressed confidence that the new road will help in lessening the developmental imbalance between the three regions of the state through which it will pass.

On the funding for the project, PWD minister Eknath Shinde said Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation would either borrow money from financial institutions or issue debt bonds.

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