The ministry of forest and environment and climate change has granted final clearance to the Vadodara-Mumbai expressway.
The 380-km project which will be taken up in three phases is now facing the hurdle of land acquisition as land owners of in Gujarat and Maharashtra have registered their protest.
National Highway Authority of India officials, said: “Land acquisition process is underway but is facing stiff opposition from land owners in Navsari and Valsad in Gujarat and Thane and Pahalgar in Maharashtra.
According to senior officials of NHAI, the project was given the environment clearance recently and the project may see some ground-work by the end of this year, after the land acquisition problems are sorted out.
The project once commissioned will ensure that a person reaches Mumbai within six hours by road. The union government has already taken up the Rs.97,000 crore 508 km Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project which will reduce the travel time to just 2.30 hours between the two cities.
NHAI officials said that the expressway starts from Ghorbandar near Creek Bridge in Thane district and traverses through the districts of Silvasa, Valsad, Navsari, Surat, Bharuch, Vadodara. It will connect to the already existing Ahmedabad-Vadodara expressway.
“Once commissioned, a person heading to Mumbai will be able to drive down to Mumbai from Ahmedabad in around six hours, the time equal to the time taken by a Shatabdi train,“ said a senior official.
Officials however added that at present land acquisition process is getting delayed due to opposition of land owners in Gujarat especially in Navasari, Valsad districts and also in Palghar & Thane districts in Maharashtra. The official said that due to problems in land acquisition they are not in a position to decide on the time for starting the project.In the phase I, from Vadodara to Talasari, a total of 3,205 hectares of land will have to be acquired.