Published On : Sat, Dec 10th, 2016

Will the Nagpur-Mumbai super highway construction really begin in April 2017 ?

Mumbai Pune highway

Representational Pic

 

Nagpur: C.M. Devendra Fadnavis’ pet project, which he promises will bring prosperity to farmers, is slated to begin rolling in a few months. His Government has set an ambitious target to begin the work on Mumbai-Nagpur super-expressway in April next year. The first phase of this road is to be completed by 2019 and the project will be fully ready by December 2020.

For Nagpur-Mumbai super-expressway 25 per cent land acquisition has already been done, the remaining land acquisition will completed be completed within a month, and work for this expressway will begin from April next year, said Maharashtra State Cabinet Minister (PWD) Eknath Shinde.

Some of the features of the ambitious Nagpur-Mumbai Supercommunication Expressway which the CM is keen on pushing are:
The total stretch of the highway will be 710-km.


It has been named as Maharashtra Samruddhi Mahamarg.

Apart from reducing the travel time between Nagpur-Mumbai from 16 hours to eight hours, the project is being evolved to develop 22 districts including the drought-hit region.

The design includes 24 townships along the stretch for which Rs 12,000 crore will be provided. The project also aims to bring agro-industrial development along these nodes.

The nodes will have agro-industries related infrastructure, ITI centres and markets.

Eknath Shinde held a meeting of all concerned departments to monitor progress of the project and set deadlines for its execution.Vice Chairman and M.D. of the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation Radheshyam Mopalwar, Director Kiran Kurundkar, P.S. Mandpe, Chief Engineer Dilip Salunke, S.K. Chaterjee, Debadwar and other consultants and advisors were present. The project has been divided into five parts/ departments and work of each dept. was surveyed. All officers are being pushed to put this highway on the ‘fast track’ for execution.

Game Changer project, farmers keen says CM
The expressway will usher in prosperity, boost agro-based industries, attract globally competitive manufacturing units in Vidarbha and Marathwada, and will place Maharashtra ahead of other states by at least 20 years, Fadnavis has said time and again.

“This road will pave the way for development of Vidarbha and Marathwada. It will be possible for farm produce to reach Mumbai from Nagpur in eight hours. This will immensely benefit the farmers of the two backward regions,” he says.

The six-lane super communication highway would require 9,000 hectares of land. “So far, the response from farmers, particularly from dry-land ryots, has been excellent,” he said.

Farmers misgivings
Villagers in many areas are still up in arms over the highway which will pass through 10 districts of Maharashtra — Nagpur, Wardha, Amravati, Washim, Buldhana, Jalna, Aurangabad, Nashik and Thane.

So far Thane farmers are still refusing to part with their land and Nasik farmers are saying that their agricultural land is the ‘costliest’ and they should receive much more compensation for it than Vidarbha farmers. They have been demanding at least Rs. 5 lakhs per Ha as against Rs. 5 lakhs that is the price in Vidarbha.

Some farmers want payment in toto and not in installments and want to be paid in full and not be alloted space in ‘nodal centers’.

Farmers have varied reasons for not surrendering their lands – some do not want to face a repeat of the industrial estate where the land was taken at lower rates and promised-land in return has still not been made available. “Many people in Sinnar taluka, who gave their land for the industrial estate, have still not got the developed land. How will the land at nodes help?” questions a farmer from this area.

Some nay sayers like Shrihari Aney, former Advocate General of Maharashtra and a strong proponent of separate Vidarbha scoffs at the idea of a new highway being the solution to problems being faced by Vidarbha farmers at least.

“Farmers of this area want irrigation facilities, fair remuneration for their produce – they need to be trained in modern farming practices – how will a highway that will just take away more of your land help? ” He asks.