Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday inaugurated the Nagpur-Mumbai expressway in Maharashtra. The new expressway, officially named as Hindu Hrudaysamrat Balasaheb Thackeray Maharashtra Samruddhi Mahamarg, will reduce travel time between the two cities from 16 hours to eight hours.
The expressway is a greenfield corridor and does not pass through inside cities. The total cost of the project has been estimated at Rs 55,335.32 crore. The first phase of the 701-km-long project covers 520 km between Nagpur and Shirdi and will take five hours to cover. The remaining stretch of 181 km will be completed by July 2023.
The new expressway will have 73 flyovers and viaducts, 32 big bridges (including eight rail overbridges), 317 small bridges, and elevated corridors, tunnels and interchanges. The expressway also has 84 underpasses and overpasses for the protection of wild animals built at Rs 326 crore. The expressway passes through 117-km wildlife habitats in Nagpur, Wardha, Amravati, Washim and Buldhana districts, tiger corridors, and eco-sensitive zones of Tansa, Katepurna and Karanja Sohol wildlife sanctuaries. The expressway has noise barriers. Nearly 33.64 lakh big and small trees and creepers will be planted on both sides of the expressway.