New Delhi: Union road transport and highway minister Nitin Gadkari said that they will begin working on Delhi-Mumbai expressway from December end and it will be completed within 30-36 months.
Talking about the project to the media, Gadkari stated: “We will begin the work on the Rs 1-trillion Delhi-Mumbai expressway from end-December and it will be completed within 30-36 months. Money is not a problem at all. NHAI can raise plenty of cheap money from the market.”
The government had announced the ambitious project this April. The road was to originally run parallel to the existing highway (NH-8) but due to high land acquisition cost, the alignment was changed to run it more eastwards.
The new alignment will see the expressway beginning from Gurugram on the Delhi outskirts and running parallel to the existing highway up to Jaipur, from where it will turn eastwards to Alwar, the tribal district of Jhabua and Ratlam in western MP and then move westwards to Baroda, the minister said.
On the land acquisition cost, he said, the new alignment has saved government over Rs 16,000 crore. While an acre is coming in at Rs 7 crore according to the original alignment, the new alignment has brought it down to Rs 80 lakh a hectare. The land alone will cost around Rs 6,000 crore.
“The expressway will stretch across the states covering two of the nation’s most backward districts, Mewat in Haryana and Dahod in Gujarat. The whole route will be: Delhi-Gurugram-Mewat-Kota-Ratlam-Godhra-Vadodara-Surat-Dahisar -Mumbai,” he said.
The expressway will cut the travel time by half between the two metros from 24 hours to 12 hours for cars, and from 44 hours to 22-22 hours for trucks. The distance will come down from 1,450 to 1,250 km as well, the minister said.