Nagpur: The work for much talked about Nagpur-Mumbai Express Way, named as Samruddhi Corridor will finally begin from October 1 this year.
The Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) has given the contractors a time of 30 months to complete the eight lane project, due to system of rewards it hopes to complete the project by October 2019.
Addressing a press conference on Friday, RL Mopalwar, vice-chairman and managing director (VCMD) of MSRDC, said that the expressway connecting Nagpur and Bhiwandi had been divided into 16 packages (stretches) and work on all of them would begin simultaneously.
“The pre-qualification bids will be opened on May 25 and the financial bids will be opened in late July or early August. We will give the work orders in August,” he added.
Commenting on problems in land acquisition, Mopalwar said that only two stretches were problematic. “One was a 8km stretch in Nasik district where residents of about four villages were against giving their land. The second stretch, 13km long was in Amravati district where eight villages were opposing the project. Thus out of 391 villages only 12 were against the project. We are trying our best to persuade the land owners to give their land. If that does not work out we will go in for compulsory acquisition,” he said.
Further, commenting on the land acquisition process, the VCMD said that out of the 700km length of the expressway, joint measurement survey of 670km had been completed. “We will start giving the compensation amount from next week,” he further said.
He admitted that the land pooling method had not evoked much response and 80% of acquisition was been done through direct compensation. The owners were being paid five times the market rate as per rehabilitation law. “We have set earmarked Rs10,000 crore for land acquisition,” he added.
On toll on the expressway, Mopalwar said that it would be around Rs2 per km for cars and Rs6.50 per km for heavy vehicles. “Thus a person travelling from Nagpur to Mumbai will have to pay Rs1,500 as toll. It is very reasonable if you take the saving in time and fuel into account,” he added.
The expressway will not have any toll plaza on it. “Toll will be charged only at the entry points and the booths will be beside the expressway,” Mopalwar said.
The MSRDC chief said that funding of the project was not a problem. “We have appointed SBI Caps for arranging the finance for Rs28,000 crore needed for road construction. Rs5,000 crore has been raised by taking a loan on MSRDC’s balance sheet and another Rs5,000 crore is subordinate debt raised with the help of other government agencies,” he further said.
Replying to a query, Mopalwar said that a greenfield alignment had been chosen because as per new Indian Road Congress (IRC) norms an expressway cannot be built by widening existing roads.