Union Minister Nitin Gadkari has assured that all work related to the Delhi-Mumbai Expressway are being expedited to ensure there is no delay.
Replying to a question in the Rajya Sabha, Nitin Gadkari said that Covid-19 pandemic had its impact on the construction schedule of the Delhi-Mumbai Expressway which, according to the Centre’s own target, is aimed to be completed by January, 2023.
Nitin Gadkari said that 350 kms of the total 1,350 kms Delhi-Mumbai Expressway has already been laid and construction of another 825 km is also in progress. The minister also assured that bids for remaining 163 kms of the expressway are being finalised and are likely to be awarded within the ongoing financial year.
“In ongoing packages, there are certain slippages on account of the ongoing Covid pandemic. All efforts are being made to complete the project expeditiously,” Gadkari said in his written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha.
Delhi-Mumbai Expressway aims to drastically reduce the time taken to travel between the two cities. Being constructed at an overall cost of around ₹1 lakh-crore, the expressway will allow vehicles to run at 120 kmph. The distance between Delhi and Mumbai are likely to be covered in just 12 hours, instead of 24 hours taken currently. In fact, it will be a faster option to travel between the cities than a train.
Delhi-Mumbai Expressway is the first greenfield expressway being constructed by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI). The expressway will have eight lanes in phase one and feature 12 lanes as part of phase two expansion plans. It will also have six-foot walls on either side to prevent animals and pedestrians from entering the lanes.
The expressway, which will begin from Sohna in Haryana and culminated at Mira Bhayander near Mumbai, will also be the first one to have animal corridors along its way. Animal overpasses have been included in the construction plan as it passes through several reserve forests.
The expressway will also have several exit points, wayside amenities like restaurants, restrooms and petrol pumps for convenience of commuters.