Pune-Satara road to be made expressway

The four-lane Pune-Satara national highway, which covers a distance of about 140 km, is being developed into a six-lane expressway with additional service lanes. Officials said that the Pune-Satara expressway will be developed along the lines of the Mumbai-Pune expressway. The National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) has handed over the existing Pune-Satara highway to Reliance Infrastructure (RInfra), which will start the construction later this month. RInfra will also take over the toll collection from Monday, when a hike of 25 to 33% will take effect. The one-way toll for a car will be Rs 60 against the existing Rs 45 and for a light commercial vehicle it will be Rs 100 against the existing Rs 80. “While the target is to complete the work in 32 months, we aim to finish it within 24 months,’’ said Lalit Jalan, CEO of RInfra. The Pune-Satara roadway is a part of the prestigious Golden Quadrilateral. The cost of the entire project is currently estimated at Rs 1,984.77 crore. R-Infra will have to recover the investment within the next 24 years by hiking the toll as prescribed by the NHAI. Under the project, the toll points will be refurbished into swanky toll plazas within three months, which should then reduce the stopover time of vehicles by 80%. Rinfra will introduce medical, first-aid and patrolling services at the toll plazas. Modern restrooms will come up across the entire stretch that has the toll plaza corridor. Apart from widening the road to a six-lane stretch, RInfra will develop 244 km of service road, build 49 grade separation structures for pedestrians and small vehicles, build 58 bridges and upgrade the two existing toll stops. The widening of the roadway from four to six lanes will not only shorten travel time and increase driving comfort, but also enhance potential for industrial development. RInfra expects an annual growth of 10 to 12% in vehicular traffic on the Pune-Satara corridor. The pace of industrial growth and economic activity is growing at 7.5%, as per statistics.

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