The Maharashtra government has decided to re-name the Mumbai-Nagpur super expressway after Shiv Sena founder Balasaheb Thackeray. Last year, the super expressway was named after former prime minister Atal Bihar Vajpayee by the then Devendra Fadnavis government. The decision to rename the Mumbai-Nagpur highway was taken during a meeting of Maharashtra cabinet headed by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.
Last year, when Shiv Sena was part of the ruling alliance-led by the BJP, it had proposed that the highway must be named after Balasaheb Thackeray. However, the Fadnavis government overlooked the demand and decided to name it after Vajpayee.
The expressway, which is called the 'Samruddhi Mahamarg', will pass through 10 districts and reduce the travel time by almost half. The 701-kilometre expressway will connect some of Maharashtra's most economically-backward areas like Vidarbha and Marathwada to Mumbai.
The 30,000 crore super expressway was the pet project of Devendra Fadnavis but since its inception, it has run into controversies, inlcuding objection from farmers, who didn't want to give up their lands. Last year, the project also led to a tiff between the ruling coalition partners - The Shiv Sena and the BJP.