The public works department, led by senior Congress leader Ashok Chavan, has drafted an ambitious Rs 70,000 crore plan for construction of a 400km road connecting Mumbai to Sindhudurg via Raigad and Ratnagiri. Once completed, the project will cut Mumbai-Sindhudurg travel to three hours, against the existing six to seven hours.
As per an order on the website of the public works department on September 6, the government had asked the state road development corporation MSRDC to prepare a detailed project report last year. The proposal was approved by the high-level infrastructure committee headed by the CM on August 25.
The project, to be called the Greenfield Konkan Expressway, is estimated to cost Rs 70,000 crore. The detailed project report is expected to be completed in two years. It will take another four years to complete the project, which will require 4,000 hectares of land,” a senior bureaucrat said.
The bureaucrat pointed out that the Greenfield Konkan Expressway is planned on the lines of the Balasaheb Thackeray Maharashtra Samrudhi Marg that will connect Nagpur with Mumbai. “The project was discussed in both houses of the state legislature, and it was proposed that the project should be entrusted with the MSRDC, given its expertise in the area. The project is aimed at further developing the Konkan region,” said the bureaucrat.
Mumbai is the commercial and financial capital of India, but the Konkan region, despite its proximity to the city, has witnessed meagre development on account of poor transport and communication network. “Several people from the Konkan region are moving to Mumbai in search of livelihood. The Konkan Expressway will contribute to the development of the region in a big way,” he said.