Union Road Transport and Highways, Shipping, Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Minister Nitin Gadkari on Tuesday said that commuters will be able to travel from Mumbai to New Delhi in not more than 12 hours.
Super Expressway between the Capital and the city by the bay at speeds in excess of a 120km/h. Planned as part of the ambitious Bharatmala Pariyojana programme to build 34,800kms of expressways across the country, this new stretch of tarmac will halve the travel time between the two cities.
At present, the 1,400km road trip takes about 24 hours.
â€œInstead of expanding lanes of existing highways, we are focusing on creating greenfield ones as the cost of land acquisition is lesser for a greenfield project that passes through comparatively lesser developed areas.Â
â€œThe new alignment is being identified after which the cost will be decided,â€ the minister said. He said highway construction in the last fiscal exceeded that of the previous year by 20%.Â
â€œIn FY18, we constructed 27 km per day as against 22 km per day in FY17,â€ the minister said. â€œWhen our government came to power in 2014, the per day construction average was 11 km. The real achievement for us would be when we construct 40 km per day.â€Â
The ministry has awarded highway construction contracts for 17,300 km in the last fiscal as against 15,848 km awarded in FY17. The minister said the highway construction target for the current financial year will be set in a high-level meeting on April 5.Â
â€œWe will be throwing open two expressway projects in and around Delhi in less than a fortnight. The Eastern Peripheral Expressway, which will act as a ring road for Delhi and the Delhi-UP Gate section, and the Delhi-Meerut Expressway will soon be inaugurated by the prime minister,â€ he said.Â
The minister also announced that the daily road construction target from this year on will be calculated as per the lane km formula practised worldwide instead of the linear length km.Â
"World over, road construction is calculated as per the lane formula. Whereas, we calculate the linear length in India.Â
â€œThat means if we construct 10 km of 14 lanes and 10 km of two lanes, it is counted only as 10 km and the length of all lanes is not taken into account. The new formula will be worked out by the National Highways Authority of India,â€ he added.Â
With Inputs from Agencies