Delhi-Mumbai highway and new road projects to propel economic growth in Maharashtra: Gadkari

NEW DELHI : Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari says the Delhi-Mumbai expressway under construction, the Nagpur-Mumbai Samriddhi Mahamarg and a number of new road projects will propel economic growth in Maharashtra.

Speaking at the second “Sankalp Se Siddhi – New India, New Resolve” conference organized by CII in Mumbai on Friday, Gadkari said major infrastructure projects to link Mumbai with Delhi, Pune and Bangalore were underway.

Gadkari informed that 70% are working on the ambitious 1 lakh crore Delhi – Mumbai Expressway has been completed and will reduce the travel time between the national capital and the commercial capital to 12 hours.

He said: “It is my dream to establish seamless connectivity from Nariman Point in Mumbai to Delhi via a network of coastal roads and sea links to Vasai -Virar and beyond with a planned expenditure of 50,000 crore.” The minister asked the Maharashtra government to waive state GST on steel and cement needed for the project.

Gadkari also informed about plans to construct a direct road connection from Mumbai to Bangalore via Westerly By Pass of the Mumbai – Pune highway and the Pune ring road. He said the road alignment plan has already been prepared and the works are expected to start soon. The Minister also informed that a new Pune – Aurangabad road alignment is planned which would reduce the travel time between the two cities to just 2 hours.

Gadkari called on Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, who was also present at the conference, to proactively undertake land acquisition works. He also suggested that on the Navi Mumbai lines, the Maharashtra government consider building new Town Ships along the new routes near Pune and Aurangabad. The Union Minister also informed that the new road alignment linking Surat – Nashik – Ahmednagar – Solapur, would divert 50% of the traffic to the south from northern India, resulting in a substantial reduction in air pollution in Thane, Mumbai and Pune.

Emphasizing the importance of infrastructure in economic development, Nitin Gadkari said India’s dream of becoming a $5 trillion economy cannot be realized without significant contribution from Maharashtra. “

Gadkari said that “the sugar industry has contributed to the prosperity of Maharashtra. To solve the problem of sugar surpluses, we are now promoting ethanol as a fuel, with the same calorific value as gasoline”.

Gadkari said that integrated thinking is needed to achieve Aatmanirbhar Bharat’s vision. While industrial investment is needed to increase employment potential, there is a need to scale up investment in agriculture, rural and tribal areas to eradicate poverty, he added.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde said the state government is focusing on creating 15 industrial corridors in the state and promised to work with the Center to create an industry-friendly ecosystem.

Speaking about the Mumbai – Ahmedabad Bullet Train project, Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said, “It is a dream of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Due to some reasons, Maharashtra stayed behind, while Gujarat worked fast for the Bullet train. But, we decided to face it because it is not only a high-speed train, but the beginning of a new phase of transport”

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