Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways has announced that the government plans to complete three of the 22 expressways and green corridors in the next three years, including the flagship Delhi Mumbai Expressway.

Gadkari said, “We will complete the flagship Delhi Mumbai Expressway in the next three years. The work will be done in 51 packages and work has already been started on 18. This will be India’s longest expressway at 1,320 km and will reduce travel time between Delhi and Mumbai from 24 hours to 13 hours.”

Besides Delhi Mumbai Expressway, the minister said the trans-Rajasthan and trans-Haryana projects would also be completed within the next three years.

The 22 projects comprising 7,500 km of greenfield expressways and corridors are planned to be completed by FY25 at the cost of INR 3.10 lakh crore. Out of these projects, six are 2,250 km expressways to be built at the cost of INR 1.45 lakh crore. The remaining 16 are greenfield corridors, including 5,250 km projects to be constructed at the cost of INR 1.65 lakh crore.

About Delhi Mumbai Expressway, he said greenfield alignment had been selected to avoid habitation and optimise the cost of land acquisition.

“We have saved about INR 6,000 crores on land acquisition front alone as land could be acquired at a cost of INR 80 lakh per hectare for the project,” he said, adding that the expressway will unlock new economic opportunities in hinterland districts of Haryana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat.

Interestingly, Nitin Gadkari in a written reply in Rajya Sabha recently, informed that a total of 255 road projects with an aggregate length of about 10,699 km have been approved till October 2019, under the Bharatmala Pariyojana.

According to him, the new projects would provide alternate routes to diversify traffic, improve geometry/alignment and provide connectivity for major towns, thereby reducing distance and travel times.

Besides, these will mitigate issues like land acquisition, utility shifting and other clearances related to the brown-field expansion of existing alignment and provide thrust to the economy of backward regions by improving infrastructure, the minister said.