MUMBAI: Union road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari on Thursday announced that the Mumbai-Delhi greenfield expressway would be extended to the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) instead of ending at Thane district.
The Delhi-Mumbai Expressway will be India’s flagship expressway with a 120kmph speed limit. It will cut the distance between Mumbai and Delhi by over 220 km. Gadkari announced that road works worth around Rs 7,000 crore had been approved for the state.
“The annual plan for national highway works in Maharashtra was approved for Rs 2,727 crore. I got it enhanced to Rs 5,801 crore, which will improve and develop 1,035 km of national highways in the state,” the Union minister said.
Reconstruction of five major bridges and 10 minor bridges will be done at a cost of Rs 429 crore. Projects worth Rs 1,800 crore under the Central Road Fund have been sanctioned, said Gadkari.
He was speaking at the Sahyadri state guest house after a meeting with chief minister Uddhav Thackeray. Revenue minister Balasaheb Thorat and urban development minister Eknath Shinde were present.
Gadkari said the state government will partner in the Mumbai-Delhi expressway construction by means of GST exemption and royalty-free supply of steel and cement, which will be considered as state government equity in the project.
“I have approved road works in the annual plan for Maharashtra and under the Central Road Fund. We have decided to extend the Mumbai-Delhi highway to JNPT. This extension of the road will cost around Rs 15,000 crore. We wanted the state government to fund 50% of the land acquisition cost. But the state government has agreed to waive off GST for all the cement and steel purchases for the project in Maharashtra. Even the royalty for the raw materials will be waived off. This will be the equity contribution of the state government. This will ease traffic congestion around Mumbai and add to capacity of container traffic from JNPT. This will be a cement-concrete road and will be a six- to eight-lane highway. The capacity of the JNPT will increase due to this,” Gadkari said.
Gadkari also announced a new highway that will link north and south India.