Electric vehicles can now take advantage of charging stations, after every 40 to 50 km, in the Mumbai-Nagpur super expressway. The Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) said motorists, from May 2021, will be able to drive on a major portion of the super expressway which is also known as prosperity corridor.
Radheshyam Mopalwar, MSRDC MD, told the media that a 520 km Shirdi-Nagpur stretch of the upcoming 701 km super-communication highway will be operational from May 2021. He confirmed that a 153 km stretch between Amravati-Aurangabad out of the 520 km is ready, and added that a 50 km stretch on the route between Washim-Buldhana would be delayed. The entire corridor would be operational by May 2022. It will cut the 16 hour travel time to only eight hours. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic delaying the project by three months, Mopalwar said there was no cost escalation as it was being built on a fixed-cost basis. He added that the total project cost of Rs 55,332 crore, including engineering cost of Rs 40,000 crore, so far Rs 22,000 crore were spent and nearly 152.17 km has been constructed.
The corridor will have an integrated traffic management system to track speed of vehicles, lane-cutting and vehicle breakdowns to ensure motorists’ safety. And at 40 to 50 km, it will have wayside amenities with facilities like charging stations for EVs. The expressway has eight tunnels, viaducts, railway overbridges and bridges over rivers. Moreover, it will connect 10 districts, 26 taluka places, 392 villages, 11 major tourist spots, besides building agro-prosperity townships to strengthen trade along with transport.
Anilkumar Gaikwad and Dr Chandrakant Pulkundwar, the Joint MDs, in regards to the proposed 19 planned townships along the corridor said development plans for eight were ready and land acquisition for six will be completed by June 2021. They said industrial and logistical townships will accommodate one lakh people each. Furthermore, the MSRDC will seek the board’s approval to lease out land parcels at Bandra, Nepean Sea Road, Pune Expressway in Pune city and Kolhapur to earn about Rs 15,000 crore.