NEW DELHI: To augment country’s road infrastructure, the government is planning to build eight more world-class express highways in addition to already announced eight expressways.
“The government has decided to prioritise construction of express highways to strengthen road infrastructure. Cabinet has already approved seven expressways while eight other such roads are being finalised in consultation with the state governments,” an official source said.
The express highways on radar for faster completion include Eastern Peripheral Expressway, foundation of which was laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi last month.
“Prime Minister is scheduled to lay the foundation stone for another Delhi-Meerut Expressway on December 31,” the source said.
Delhi-Meerut Expressway, the alignment of which will start from Nizamuddin Bridge from Delhi will continue on existing NH-24 up to Dasna and from Dasna there will be completely a new alignment up to Meerut which will terminate on inner ring road/Meerut bypass near railway crossing, the source said.
The 150.14 km project will be built in four stretches and about 541 hectares land out of required 1,018 has already been acquired for the project.
The Cabinet has already approved seven such expressways — Vadodara-Mumbai corridor (400 km), Delhi-Meerut (66 km), Bangalore-Chennai (334 km), Delhi-Jaipur (262 km), Delhi-Chandigarh (249 km), Kolkata-Dhanbad (277 km and Delhi-Agra (200 km).
The government has fixed the completion period of the eastern peripheral expressway as 30 months, the source said.
The other expressways planned include Nagpur-Mumbai, Jaipur-Ajmer-Ahemadabad, Nagpur-Hyderabad, Pune-Hyderabad and Hyderabad-Bangalore.
As far as Eastern Peripheral expressway is concerned majority of the land has already been acquired for the project to be built at a cost of Rs 5,763 crore.
Last month, Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari has said that government will soon start work on three express highways, including Delhi-Srinagar, Delhi-Meerut and Mumbai-Nagpur express highways.
“(We) will construct Delhi-Srinagar express highway which will reduce travelling time to Srinagar from national capital to 6 hours from present 22 hours. Similarly Mumbai-Nagpur express highway will reduce travelling time to 6 hours from 18-19 hours,” he has said.
The Minister also said that the government plans to build ten express highways.
He has said that all the express highways are going to be world class matching the quality and specifications in advanced nations and once completed would result in huge savings in fuel cost.
An express highway is a controlled-access highways, mostly 6-lane or above, where entrance and exit is controlled by the use of slip roads (ramps) that are incorporated into the design of the highway.