From May 2021, motorists will be able to drive on a major portion of Maharashtra’s Balasaheb Thackeray Mumbai-Nagpur super expressway, also known as prosperity corridor, to cut short travel time between the state’s first and second capital in record time, MSRDC, the state’s infrastructure arm, announced on Thursday.
A 520 km Shirdi-Nagpur stretch of the upcoming 701 km super-communication highway will be operational from May 2021, MSRDC MD Radheshyam Mopalwar told the media. A 153 km stretch between Amravati-Aurangabad out of 520 km is ready, he added, pointing out that a 50 km stretch on the route between Washim-Buldhana may be delayed a bit.
Over 20,000 labourers are working, as against 18,000 in pre-Covid times, on the Rs.55,000 crore project.
Mopalwar said by December 2021, the stretch up to Igatpuri (total 623 km between Nagpur-Igatpuri) will be operational. By May 2022, the entire corridor will be operational, cutting short 16-hour travel time to eight hours. He said though Covid had delayed the project by three months, there was no cost escalation as it was being built on a fixed-cost basis.
Joint MDs Anilkumar Gaikwad and Dr Chandrakant Pulkundwar said of the proposed 19 planned townships along the corridor, development plans for eight were ready and land acquisition for six will be completed by June 2021. The industrial and logistical townships will accommodate one lakh people each.
MSRDC will seek its board’s approval to lease out land parcels at Bandra, Nepean Sea Road, Pune Expressway in Pune city and Kolhapur to earn around Rs.15,000 crore. The earnings will help MSRDC reduce the financial burden for its multi-crore projects.