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Centre seeks DPRs for 16 state highways

DNMUM349847 | 11/18/2015 | Author : Ateeq Shaikh and Shailendra Paranjpe | WC :571

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3,839km of state highways have been added to National Highway projects, including those going from city to Goa and Nagpur

Within a week of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) deciding to include 3,883km of state highways in the National Highway (NH) project, the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) has decided to get Detailed Project Reports (DPRs) for 16 stretches, including the Nagpur-Mumbai Super Communication Express Highway.
On November 5, a Maharashtra government team, including Minister of Public Works Chandrakant Patil and MSRDC vice-chairman and managing director Radheshyam Mopalwaar, met MoRTH minister Nitin Gadkari and it was decided that several state highway stretches will be included in the NH projects.
"The government of India has identified 16 stretches of roads within Maharashtra that need to be widened to de-congest state highways. So DPRs of these 16 stretches (see box) would be made," said Mopalwaar.
Submission of DPRs will begin only by the end of the ongoing fiscal year and continue during the next financial year. The report will detail about the technicalities and feasibility of the project. Oncethat is submitted, the MoRTH will decide on what action needs to be taken to undertake the highway upgrade work, if the project is feasible or not, if it has to be taken on build-operate-transfer(BOT) financial model, wherein toll is levied, or cash-contract model is possible to save motorists from paying toll.
Some of these stretches include Aurangabad-Jalgaon-Nashik, Karad-Chiplum-Guhagar, Pune-Mulshi-Mangaon-Dighi Port, Satara-Akluj-Latur and Indore-Jamner-Aurangabad. The total length of the highway is over 4,000km.
Meanwhile, after the November 5 meeting, Patil informed the media that orders have been issued for survey of the Mumbai-Goa highway along the coastline. He informed that a provision of Rs2,000 crore has already been made for the project. Patil added that the Satara-Kagal higway will be handled by MSRDC. As far as the Mumbai-Vadodara six-lane highway is concerned, the work to prepare a detailed project report will start immediately, he said, but now the same hasn't been included in the list of 16 highways.
"The Centre and the state government have gone for a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to complete the six-lane Mumbai-Nagpur project and the Union government has prepared a plan for this project, estimated at Rs32,000 crore," said Patil.
He said the Panvel-Indapur stretch, a project pending for a long time, will also be completed now.
On October 29, Gadkari had shared with the media that by January, bids to resume remaining works for four-laning of Mumbai-Goa highway will be floated by the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI).
"We will improve the existing road and there will be changes in the alignment, curves and gradients at some sections," said Gadkari. The entire highway will be a cement concrete road. At the moment, 60 per cent of the land acquisition along the highway has been undertaken and NHAI is hopeful to acquire the balance land parcels in the coming months. "We cannot carry out the project unless 80 per cent of the acquisition is done," added Gadkari.
The estimated cost for four-laning of the 455-km highway is around Rs4,000 crore and there is a possibility of a revision. The project will be undertaken on the earlier Engineering Procurement and Construction financial model, by way of four packages or tenders. Tenders for the highway are likely to be invited from December onwards. A decision, however, is yet to be arrived at on the financial model that will be adopted to implement the widening project with several bridges, which has an estimated cost of around Rs12,000-15,000 crore.

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