Nagpur: Around 120 kilometres from Mumbai, the tourist hotspot of Igatpuri in Nashik district will soon have another attraction in the form of Maharashtra’s longest road tunnel measuring 7.78 kilometres as a part of Nagpur-Mumbai Expressway. This tunnel will cut short Nagpur-Mumbai travel time by an hour, predicts officials.
The dual tunnel with lengths of 7.78 km and 7.74 km on the left and the right is now 60 per cent complete. The project is spread in Thane and Nashik districts, and brings good news for the people. Once operational, this tunnel will help significantly reduce vehicular congestion at the Kasara Ghat and help commuters save about one hour of travel time.
The project is named ‘Package 14’ and is a crucial part of the 16 packages that have been planned by the Maharashtra government for its ambitious Mumbai-Nagpur Expressway project named ‘Hindu Hurudaysamrat Balasaheb Thackeray Maharashtra Samruddhi Mahamarg’.
Meanwhile, once the Mumbai-Nagpur Expressway is completed, commuters will be able to cover the distance of 701 km between Nagpur and Mumbai within eight hours. The travel time from Mumbai to Aurangabad will be four hours and from Aurangabad to Nagpur another four hours.Officials say this expressway and its feeder network will promote overall tourist development connecting various tourist locations like Shirdi (Ahmednagar), Verul (Aurangabad), Lonar (Buldhana), Ajanta (Aurangabad), among others.
Apart from this, the expressway is also expected to boost economic activity in parts of Vidarbha and Marathwada regions.