Samruddhi Mahamarg: Second wave of Covid impacts timelines
The partial opening of the ambitious Mumbai-Nagpur prosperity corridor, the 701 km Samruddhi Mahamarg, about 500 km of which was scheduled to open on May 1, has been delayed by at least three to four months after a second wave of Covid-19 hit the region badly and the government clamped a partial lockdown.
The second wave of Covid-19 has only set the project further back after an already expected delay. The Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) told the media that owing to delay in commissioning safety and security features such as ambulances, quick response teams, petrol and electric charging pumps, CCTVS, toll booths, among others, the work was to be delayed by a month or two at Ahmednagar, Aurangabad East, Buldhana West, Washim West and Nagpur West.
MSRDC is the nodal state agency that is implementing the Rs 55,000 crore project.
The expressway will be 701 km long, directly connecting ten districts, 26 talukas and around 392 villages. Over 34,000 labourers are working on the entire project, of whom a larger proportion are working on the 520 km stretch that was proposed to be opened for traffic from May 1.
Also known as the prosperity corridor, the super communication expressway, will introduce an integrated traffic management system (ITMS) to monitor vehicle speeds, keep a watch on lane cutting and other roadside emergencies.
The expressway is designed for speeds up to 150 km per hour on flat terrain. It will connect 10 districts, 26 talukas and 392 villages. It will cut down the travel time between Mumbai and Nagpur from the present 16 to eight hours. Around 19 new towns will come up along the corridor.
The Samruddhi Mahamarg will connect Nagpur to Mumbai and have direct connectivity with India's largest container port, the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT). The corridor passes through 10 districts—Nagpur, Wardha, Amravati, Washim, Buldhana, Aurangabad, Jalna, Ahmednagar, Nashik and Thane.
Major tourist destinations in the state will also be connected to the expressway.