FORTY per cent work on the ambitious Hindu Hrudaysamrat Balasaheb Thackeray Maharashtra Samruddhi Mahamarg project has been completed and the 623-km Igatpuri-Nagpur stretch will be fully operational by December 2021.
This was informed by Radheshyam Mopalwar, managing director of the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC), in an interaction with reporters on Wednesday.
Mopalwar said, “The work is progressing very well despite Covid-19 as we were able to retain most of our labour force. We assured them that they will be fully taken care of. We sanitised all our roadside camps where they lived, and got their Covid-19 tests done… none was found to be positive for the disease. Currently, we have about 16,000 labourers working on the various sites.”
“We will be completing the 623-km Nagpur-Igatpuri stretch of the 701-km Mumbai-Nagpur expressway by December 2021. The remaining 78-km stretch in Thane district will take another three to four months,” said Mopalwar.
Asked which particular stretch will be ready for commercial use, he said, “It can’t be predicted. But people could actually start using at least one of the 16 stretches of the road by June 2021.”
On how much of the projected Rs 55,000 crore cost has been used, Mopalwar said, “We have spent about Rs 18,000 crore so far, with some payments in the pipeline.”
He said a 31-km leg of the expressway passes through Nagpur, which comprises around 111 structures including flyovers, viaducts, major bridges, and minor bridges, pedestrian and light vehicular underpasses, of which 63 structures have already been constructed.
“In Wardha, 93 out of 153 structures have been completed and work is in progress for 41 structures. In Amaravati, 151 out of 199 have been completed and 46 are in progress. In Washim, 209 structures have been proposed, out of which 96 have been completed and 49 are in progress while in Buldhana, construction of 83 out of 178 structures have been completed,” he added.
As many as 20 new towns will be set up along the expressway, of which 10 will be set up in Vidarbha. “MSRDC has adopted an eight-phase programme for the same,” informed Vijay Waghmare, joint managing director, MSRDC. “This programme includes inception, geo-reference mapping, existing land use study, market study and demand assessment, preparing concept map, where the expected development of a particular area over the next decade, its principal occupation and other factors are studied, drafting development plan, preparing final report and submission of final report,” he said.
Waghmare informed that MSRDC has completed the first five phases of the programme.
Mopalwar said the MSRDC has taken an initiative to provide skill development training for youth from the 23,000 families whose land has been acquired for the project, to enable them to get employment in the new towns being set up.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines