Construction of India's biggest super-highway to start in Jan

Construction of India's biggest super-highway to start in Jan
The construction of India’s biggest super-highway project, connecting Mumbai and Nagpur, will commence in January 2018.

The Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC), which is the nodal agency of the project, intends to complete the project within 30 months.

The Rs 46,000-crore Nagpur-Mumbai Super Communication Expressway or the Maharashtra Samruddhi Mahamarg involves a 701-km high-tech high-speed road that would pass through 10 district and connect 24 of the 36 districts in Maharashtra.

The project is the brainchild of Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis. "We expect the construction to start by January 2018 and it is likely to be completed well within three years," Minister for PWD (MSRDC) Eknath Shinde said.

Shinde was accompanied by Minister of State for PWD Madan Yerawar, Vice Chairman and Managing Director of MSRDC Bhushan Gagrani and Joint Managing Director of MSRDC Kiran Kurundkar.

Stating that the state government has already acquired around 600 Ha of land through direct purchase and has received consent regarding 2,750 Ha of land, Shinde said the remaining land will be acquired soon in order to commence construction by January 2018.

"We have started the bidding process simultaneously and will be in a position to award the contract in 3 months so that the work to construct the expressway begins on time and we achieve our target," Shinde said.

On being asked how funds are going to be raised for the project, Gagrani, who accompanied the chief minister during a recent tour to South Korea, said, "We are looking at international finance agencies. Based on a recommendation by the Centre, the South Korean government has agreed to provide a loan of Rs 35,000 crore to the state government. Besides, we are also in talks with Indian banks for providing us a soft loan so that the project doesn’t get hampered. The banks too have shown keen interest in the mega project."

"It will be a game changer for the entire state," said Shinde, adding that there will be complete transparency in purchasing land for the project, as also while paying compensation through real-time gross settlement.
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