The construction work on the Rs 600-billion Delhi-Mumbai Expressway has finally been started. The 1,250-km expressway will reportedly be signal free and will cut the travel time between Mumbai and Delhi to 12 hours.
The expressway is expected to pass through Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. The eight-lane expressway will cross Sohna in Gurugram and link the western peripheral expressway with the Delhi-Noida-Delhi flyway in Delhi. As per the original plan, the expressway was to run parallel to National Highway-8 (NH-8). However, it was changed due to high land acquisition cost. The new route will see the expressway run more eastwards, starting from Gurugram on the outskirts of Delhi and moving towards Alwar, the tribal district of Jhabua and Ratlam in western Madhya Pradesh. The expressway will then move towards Baroda in Gujarat. The expressway will then stretch across the states covering Mewat in Haryana and Dahod in Gujarat. The whole route will be: Delhi-Gurugram-Mewat-Kota-Ratlam-Godhra-Vadodara-Surat-Dahisar-Mumbai.
80 km land acquisition has been carried out by the Haryana Government for the project, initiating the work to speed up. The land acquisition for the eight-lane 1,250-km expressway project is still going on in Rajasthan (380 km), Gujarat (120 km), Madhya Pradesh (300 km) and Maharashtra (370 km).
With an estimated cost of Rs 600 billion, the project will reportedly reduce the distance between the national capital and Mumbai from the existing 1,450 km to 1,200 km. Besides, the time taken for travelling will also be cut to 12 hours, as compared to 24 hours taken through NH-8 at present. The speed limit on the Delhi-Mumbai expressway is expected to be around 120 kmph, and will be competed in three years.