70% work on Delhi-Mumbai Expressway to be completed this year; his dream project will reduce travel time to 12 hours
Geetanjali Minhas | July 9, 2022 | Mumbai
Union minister for road transport and highways Nitin Gadkari has urged people to use ethanol as the preferred fuel in future. He said that compared to Rs 115 per litre for petrol, ethanol at Rs 64 per litre would prove to be a very cost-effective fuel for a common person.
Gadkari said that flex engine vehicles will start becoming available from next month. Indian Oil Corporation’s R&D centre in Faridabad has certified that it is possible to get the same average from ethanol as one gets from petrol. “In Maharashtra the sugar industry has contributed to prosperity and address the issue of surplus sugar we are now promoting ethanol as a fuel with the same calorific value as petrol. Maharashtra can become the pioneering state in reducing the petrol consumption by promoting alternative fuels like ethanol, methanol, bio-diesel, bio CNG, bio LNG and green hydrogen etc,” he said.
He was speaking at the second ‘Sankalp Se Siddhi – New India, New Resolve Conference’ organized by CII in Mumbai on Friday.
Speaking on a slew of infrastructure projects, the minister said that possibility of introducing trolley buses which are cost-effective for intra-city transport should also be explored. He said great infrastructure projects to connect Mumbai with Delhi, Pune and Bangalore are in pipeline.
Gadkari said that 70% work on the ambitious Rs 1 lakh crore Delhi-Mumbai Expressway will be completed this year and it will reduce the travel time between the national capital and the commercial capital to 12 hours.
“It is my dream to establish seamless connectivity from Nariman Point in Mumbai to Delhi through a network of coastal road and sea-link up to Vasai-Virar and beyond with a project outlay of Rs 50,000 crore,” he said. The completion of the project will facilitate Nariman Point-Delhi travel within 12 hours.”
He requested the Mahrashtra government to waive off state GST on steel and cement required for the project. He also said that work on the stalled Mumbai-Ahmedabad Bullet Train project will be hastened. In addition, the Nagpur-Mumbai Super Expressway and other significant projects which would help to enhance Maharashtra's economic growth will be pushed.
Gadkari also spoke about the plans to build direct road connection from Mumbai to Bangalore through Westerly Bypass of Mumbai-Pune Expressway and Pune Ring Road. He said the road alignment plan has already been prepared and the work is expected to begin soon. He said that a new Pune-Aurangabad road alignment has been planned to reduce travel time between the two cities to just two hours.
He asked Maharashtra chief minister Eknath Shinde, who was also present at the conclave, to pro-actively undertake land acquisition work and suggested that the state government must build a new township along new roads near Pune and Aurangabad on the lines of Navi Mumbai. He also said that that the new road alignment connecting Surat-Nashik- Ahmednagar-Solapur would divert 50% of the south bound traffic coming from North India and result in substantial reduction of air pollution in Thane, Mumbai and Pune.
“India cannot achieve its goal of becoming a $5-trillion economy without the immense contribution of Maharashtra. Maharashtra is the growth engine of the Indian economy. The state will have to contribute majorly in all the fields – agriculture, industry and services.” he said. He added that integrated thinking is required to realize the vision of Aatmanirbhar Bharat and also to step up investments in agriculture, rural and tribal areas to eradicate poverty.
CM Shinde said the state government is focused on creating 15 industrial corridors in the state and with the centre to create a pro-industry eco-system. He said work on the Samrudhhi project will be expedited as it will not only reduce the travel time between Nagpur and Mumbai but also provide ample job opportunities. “We will develop a road map for 25 years to figure out the projects and their completion within a time frame.”
Deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said the Mumbai-Ahmedabad Bullet Train project is the dream of prime minister Narendra Modi. Now with the government headed by CM Shinde, the project has been given a push.
“For certain reasons, Maharashtra remained behind, while Gujarat worked swiftly for the Bullet train. But we have decided to cope up because it is not just only a Bullet train, but the beginning of a new phase of transportation”
Fadnavis said that under the guidance of PM Narendra Modi the country can achieve its target of becoming a $5 trillion economy. “In 2015 we had taken a pledge to become $1 trillion economy by 2030. Under CM Shinde now, Maharashtra will become $1 trillion dollar economy before 2030. An inclusive infrastructure, technology and innovation led development model has been set up to for last mile achieve this aim.”
He added that be it Navi Mumbai International Airport project, Mumbai Metro or Bullet trains, Mumbai will be the centre that will be connected across the country. “Within a record nine months the state government has completed the process of land acquisition for 701 km stretch of Samruddhi Mahamarg which will be a game changer,” he said.
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