Nagpur/Mumbai: The pet project of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis the highly ambitious Mumbai-Nagpur Express Way saw a first diversion in its original plan as it hit farmers’ road block at Kasara Ghat section. The State Road Development Corporation has now come up with a fresh plan in which the agricultural land of farmers will be spared near Nashik and a new route will pass through an 8-km tunnel in the forest land of Kasara.
The farmers were opposing and were not in a mood to part with their agriculture land for the express way. Considering this, the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) has taken some measures in smaller sections to re-align the road.
“There has been a small shift of alignment in Kasara ghat, where the earlier plan has been revised. The new alignment will require lesser land acquisition and also avoid criss-crossing of the road over the railway tracks and the national highway,” said Dileep Salunke, chief engineer, MSRDC.
The officer said the shift in alignment for the green-field 700-km highway was done considering the construction issues in the region. The plan had been drawn as per the recommendations of the consultants who surveyed Nashik-Mumbai Expressway planned way back in 1996. At that time, the width of the road was half the current proposed expressway and the design speed was 80 kilometre per hour (kmph).
“The new project is being crafted for design speed of 150 kmph and the change in design was expected. The earlier design crossed the railway tracks twice and it also crossed the highway thrice. The new alignment will have only one long tunnel to allow the vehicles to cross the Kasara ghat. This change in the ghat section will lead to lesser land acquisition or land pooling – given that most of the land will be acquired from the forest department,” another senior official said.