The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways’ flagship project Delhi-Mumbai Expressway, has come a long way since its inception. Once the 1386 km eight-lane highway is operational, it is said to cover the travel time between the two cities in 12 hours. Not many know this, but this is going to be India’s largest expressway and is one of the fastest-built expressways in the world with construction happening at a record pace. It reportedly involves 80 lakh tons of cement and 10 lakh tons of steel!
The visionary project was kickstarted in 2018 with the foundation stone being laid on March 9, 2019. Union Road Transport minister Nitin Gadkari had last year announced that the expressway would be almost ready in December.
With the upcoming budget, it is important to dive into the progress of this eight-lane expressway. So let’s have a look.
Delhi-Mumbai Expressway: Progress report
According to a recent Tweet, the Ministry of Finance announced that the expressway of length 1,386 km was planned at a capital cost of Rs 101,420 crore. It also revealed that 1,368 km was awarded and 724 km was constructed till October 2022 and the remaining 18 km will be awarded by March 2023. The 214 km stretch between Delhi to Dausa (Jaipur) and 100 km stretch from Vadodara to Ankleshwar section was to be completed by December 2022. Once the route gets operational, it will reduce the travel time from Gurugram to Dausa by almost half. Currently, it takes 4-5 hours to cover the distance. The Ministry has said that the substantial length of the expressway will be completed in FY2023-24. So, the Expressway could be operational by FY24.
Delhi-Mumbai Expressway: Connectivity and Cost
The expressway is going to have eight lanes including a separate lane for electric vehicles. It will start from DND flyway, Delhi and Sohna, Haryana, and end at Virar, Maharashtra, and Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust, Maharashtra.
Besides Delhi and Mumbai, the expressway will be connecting five other states including Rajasthan, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, and Maharashtra. It will also improve connectivity to cities like Jaipur, Ajmer, Kota, Udaipur, Chittorgarh, Bhopal, Indore, Ujjain, Ahmedabad, Surat, and Vadodra among others, bringing economic prosperity to many.
In Madhya Pradesh, the Delhi-Mumbai Expressway will connect cities like Ratlam, Mandsaur, and Jhabua. In Rajasthan, it will reach Dausa, Tonk, Bundi, Kota, Bharatpur, and Alwar.
Gadkari had recently shared an image of the Delhi-Mumbai Expressway stretch between Khanpur Ghati and the Haryana/Rajasthan border. His Twitter post said, “The section between the Khanpur Ghati & Haryana/Rajasthan border which is also part of the Delhi-Vadodara-Mumbai Expressway (NE-4), is currently being constructed with a layout of the access-controlled 8-lane carriageway.”
Gadkari had last year revealed that the 245-km stretch of the expressway in Madhya Pradesh costs Rs 20,000 crore and has been almost laid. This expressway will also see an additional 31 km long stretch from Noida International Airport in Jewar to Sector-65, Faridabad. Delhi–Mumbai Expressway will connect Sohna Elevated Corridor in Delhi to Jawaharlal Nehru Port in Maharashtra via Dausa, Kota, Ratlam, Vadodara, and Surat.
Delhi-Mumbai Expressway: Key features for safety and comfort
The Expressway is divided into four sections namely DND-Faridabad-KMP, Sohan-KMP-Vadodara, Vadodara-Virar, and Virar-JNPT. Moving away from the technicalities of the project, let’s focus on what extra amenities you can expect from this expressway. One can expect a number of roadside amenities including food stores, hotels, retail shops, and of course, fuel stations.
The expressway will also have charging stations designed especially for charging electric vehicles. According to media reports, this expressway will be the first of its kind to include trauma centres and helipads with an intent to offer medical help for passengers who need to be flown out in case they meet with accidents. Since there is going to be a separate lane for electric vehicles, it is naturally expected to reduce congestion. This will definitely lower logistics expenses as heavy vehicles will use electricity as a substitute for diesel as fuel.
And if that wasn’t enough to be environmentally friendly, the Ministry has said that over two million trees and shrubs will be planted along the highway, this expressway will also be the first in Asia and only the second in the world to feature animal overpasses in order to facilitate unrestricted movement of wildlife!