Updated: September 17, 2021 7:00:57 am
Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari on Thursday said the 1380-km eight-lane Delhi-Mumbai Expressway — passing through Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat — will reduce travel time between the cities to 12-12.5 hours.
The minister was addressing the press in Lohatki, Sohna on Thursday after he reviewed the progress of a section of the Delhi-Mumbai expressway in Sohna. Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and Union Minister Rao Inderjit Singh were also present at the occasion.
Calling it a matter of pride, Gadkari said the expressway will be the longest in India and connect urban centres of Delhi through Delhi-Faridabad-Sohna section of the corridor with a spur to Jewar Airport and Jawaharlal Nehru Port to Mumbai through a spur in Mumbai.
दिल्ली-मुंबई एक्सप्रेस-वे के दो दिवसीय निरीक्षण कार्यक्रम के अपने दूसरे पड़ाव में राजस्थान के दौसा में कार्य के प्रगति का निरीक्षण किया। #PragatiKaHighway #DelhiMumbaiExpressway pic.twitter.com/iD0qReIG2I
— Nitin Gadkari (@nitin_gadkari) September 16, 2021
“The expressway will have wayside amenities – resorts, restaurants, food courts, fuel stations, facilities for truckers, logistics parks – at six points in Haryana. We have also envisaged a helicopter ambulance service for accident victims and there will be a heliport, which will use drone services for business as well. I also want to build electric highways along the expressway,” said Gadkari.
Developed at Rs 98,000 crore, the expressway is expected to be completed by March 2023. The eight-lane access-controlled expressway can be expanded to a 12-lane expressway depending on the volume of traffic in the future.
The first phase from Delhi-Jaipur (Dausa)-Lalsot and Vadodara-Ankleshwar is expected to be open to traffic by March 2022. More than 160 km stretch of the expressway which passes through Haryana is being built at Rs 10,400 crore, the minister said.
“This corridor will improve connectivity in Nuh and Palwal through multiple interchanges to connect the expressway with major highways like KMP and DND Sohna. To address the serious problem of air pollution and traffic congestion in Delhi-NCR, the ministry is undertaking 15 projects worth Rs 53,000 crore, of which 14 projects have been initiated. This expressway will lead to a reduction of 27 per cent in vehicular pollution in Delhi,” he said.
He said that the soon to be opened Delhi-Meerut Expressway will reduce commute time between Delhi and Meerut to 40 minutes. “There was an issue with an overbridge, which has now been resolved. I will inaugurate it next month,” he said.
Stressing the importance of roads in a country, Gadkari quoted former US President John F Kennedy, “American roads are not good because America is rich, but America is rich because American roads are good. Kennedy said this. I have this saying written in my office. Roads lead to prosperity and development,” he said.
He added that that the ministry was exploring options to adopt new technologies for the construction of roads and cut down the use of cement and steel. “We are exploring options such as the use of steel fibre, which is used abroad,” he said.
Gadkari said that the ministry had paid 1.5 times more than the market price to farmers for land acquisition, in a liberal approach. “I appeal to farmers to not sell their land to builders and developers, who usually profit when prices increase after road construction. They (farmers) will get more money if they develop the land,” he said.
Responding to a question about toll taxes making travel costly on national highways, Gadkari said, “If you want good services, you have to pay for it. If one wants to conduct a programme in an air-conditioned hall, one will have to pay the rent (kiraya). Otherwise, a wedding can be conducted in a field (maidan) for free as well.”
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, said, “With these road stretches being built, there will be economic prosperity in the region (Palwal, Nuh and Gurgaon) and bring employment opportunities, services and give a fillip to industry and growth. At least 73 villages in this region will benefit from this stretch. ”
Khattar mentioned they had submitted a list of 18 points in South Haryana, where road projects needed to be built for better connectivity including underpasses at Bilaspur Chowk and Bawal Chowk on NH-48, an interchange point at Palwal-Aligarh national highway and eastern peripheral national highway and at Faridabad chowk.
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