Only last month the Union Road Transport and Highways Ministry had announced the building of a Super Expressway between Mumbai and Delhi. A dream come true for road trip enthusiasts, this super expressway is expected to reduce travel time between the two cities by half, covering 1,410 km in less than 12 hours!
Similarly, the Ministry has now identified at least five greenfield road networks connecting major industrial and manufacturing hubs, with an aim to reduce the distance on these stretches up to 200 km, reported The Times of India.
Here are a few highlights of these five upcoming highways:
- These five new highway routes include Bhatinda-Kandla, Bhatinda-Ajmer, Raipur-Vishakhapatnam, Chennai-Salem and Ambala-Katputli.
- The idea of the ministry is to build more greenfield highways which means the land used for the construction of these highways will be the one that has never been used (e.g. green or new), one where there is no need to demolish or rebuild any existing structures.
- These highways will be built with a straight alignment rather than expanding the existing corridors. Greenfield highways help avoid delay in land acquisition, high cost for procuring land and removal of encroachments.
- The new highway between Bhatinda and Kandla passing through Hanumangarh, Bikaner, Jodhpur, Barmer and Sanchore in Rajasthan is expected to bring down the current distance of 1,100 km to 900 km. The ministry is reported to have proposed a 4-lane greenfield highway involving less expenditure.
- The other greenfield highway between Bhatinda and Ajmer, passing through Sirsa in Haryana and Sikar in Rajasthan is expected to reduce the distance by 120 km.
- Similarly, the greenfield highway between Chennai and Salem in Tamil Nadu may bring down the distance by 70 km.
The project will be something to look forward to, since procuring any land along an existing road usually costs twice or even more than buying land elsewhere.
Even the costs for the expansion of highways which includes the cost of land acquisition, building safe passages for vehicle and pedestrians, tree cutting and compensatory afforestation, as per the ministry regulations, comes up to almost the same as money spent on building a new highway.
Speaking to TOI, a ministry official said, “One of the main focus of these new alignments will be to provide connectivity to some of the underdeveloped areas as highway connectivity will push development in those regions. Second, new roads will free up the congested highways and thereby improve the traffic flow.”
As per the report, the ministry has also identified two more stretches to improve connectivity between cities including Durg-Aurang in Chhattisgarh and Mangalore-Chitradurga in Karnataka.
(Edited by Shruti Singhal)