Prime Minister Narendra Modi Sunday inaugurated the phase 1 of the Nagpur-Mumbai Samruddhi Mahamarg Expressway.
Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari, Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis were also party of the inauguration ceremony for the 520-km stretch between Nagpur and Shirdi.
The entire stretch of 701 km from Mumbai to Nagpur will be ready by July 2023 and subsequently will be opened to the traffic as per the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC), which is the project implementing authority for this expressway.
Longest expressway of the country
Samruddhi Mahamarg is the longest expressway of the country. The expressway, once fully opened to traffic, is expected to reduce travel time between Nagpur and Mumbai from 16 hours to eight hours. The phase 1 stretch of Nagpur to Shirdi will take five hours which is opened to traffic from 2022 and Mumbai to Aurangabad in 4 hours.
The total cost of the project is Rs 55,335.32 crore. Of which 88.19% of financial progress is attained till date, as per the MSRDC. For expressway road widening and interchange, 8861.02 ha of land was acquired for which Rs 8,008.97 crore as compensation was given, as per the MSRDC.
Samruddhi Mahamarg expressway construction work is divided into 16 packages. Package 1 to 13 was supposed to finish in 30 months, 14 to 16 in 36 months and as per the timeline the progress was expected to be ready fully by September 2022. However, due to Covid, the project got delayed , as per the MSRDC. Therefore, the new revised deadline of the project is July 2023.
We are committed to delivering on top quality infrastructure and the Mahamarg between Nagpur and Shirdi is an example of this effort. Inaugurated this modern road project and also drove on the Mahamarg. I am sure it will contribute to further economic progress of Maharashtra. pic.twitter.com/Conx6yBkmR
Provision for protection of wildlife animals
For Samruddhi Mahamarg, the MSRDC has also taken care of wildlife animal movement. The corporation has taken up 84 underpasses and overpasses. The work of wildlife mitigation has been completed and this will help prevent wildlife mishaps along the expressway. Since the expressway passes through Nagpur, Wardha, Amravati, Washim and Buldhana districts of Vidarbha while it has to go 117 km through wildlife habitats, tiger corridors, eco-sensitive zones of Tansa, Katepurna and Karanja Sohol wildlife sanctuaries. Therefore, the Forest Department directed MSRDC to take up mitigation works to prevent animals from road accidents while crossing one side of the habitat to the other side of the highway. Noise barriers have also been installed. For the wildlife protection corridor alone Rs 326 crore was spent.
Plantation along the expressway
About 33.64 lakh big and small trees and creepers will be planted. On both sides of the expressway, over 11,000 big trees will be planted. For beautification along the highway over Rs 694 crore will be spent and the plantation will be done in a four years time period, as per the MSRDC.
The Samruddhi Mahamarg expressway comprises 73 flyovers and viaducts, of which 52 are ready. Similarly, there are 32 bigger bridges of which 31 are ready, 8 are rail overbridges of which 6 are ready.Small bridges are 317 of which 308 are ready. For vehicles, elevated corridors, tunnels, interchanges are part of the expressway.
How Samruddhi Mahamarg will benefit the public
As many as 18 new townships will be developed and at 20 places facility centers will be made available. The expressway is expected to be used as a national and international business corridor.