AN expert panel of the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) has granted environment clearance for the development of package III of the Nagpur-Mumbai Super Communication Expressway “Samruddhi Corridor”. The package III involves a section from Nhava village in Jalna district to Surala village in Vaijapur taluka in Aurangabad district and its length is 155 km. This is the first environmental clearance granted by the MoEF for one package out of total five packages of the Expressway.
According to the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC), there are five packages of the Nagpur-Mumbai Expressway with a length of 700 km. The expert panel had given in-principle approval in September, but had sought more details of the project, said an official. The estimated cost of the entire project is Rs 46,000 crore.
In its meeting held on November 29, the expert panel recommend the project for the grant of environment clearance. It has noted that the “responsibility of the implementation of EC conditions rests with the MSRDC”. For disturbance to animal movement across the proposed alignment, the panel has asked the MSRDC to consult the Chief Wildlife Warden of Maharashtra and the Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun, and to submit the report in three months.
“This is the first environment clearance from MoEF received for one package of the five packages. For other packages also, we are following up with them. Simultaneous works are being carried out about the clearances and land acquisition. As of now, we have acquired 39 per cent land for the entire project and will submit a proposal to the state government, seeking permission to float a tender after we acquire 50 per cent land,” said Kiran Kurundkar, joint managing director of MSRDC.
According to the MSRDC, it is a greenfield alignment and will reduce travel time, fuel consumption, vehicle operation and maintenance cost in comparison to the existing alternatives. The project is planned to develop new industrial, educational, commercial, tourism nodes in the vicinity of the expressway at a regular interval of 40-50 km, it said.
The MSRDC stated that the implementation of the entire project will ensure fast and safe road traffic movement, and reducing travel time to half for motor vehicles. The creation of commercial nodes for multiple development, mainly in industrial, commercial, agricultural, tourism sectors, will result in employment generation, capacity-building as well as connectivity between industrial places on the route, it said.