Ahmednagar, May 25 (IANS): Maharastra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis will inaugurate the second phase of the Mumbai-Nagpur Super Communication Expressway near Shirdi pilgrimage town on Friday, officials said here on Thursday.
The Phase II from Shirdi in Ahmednagar to Igatpuri in Nashik is 80 km long and part of the 701-km long 'Hindu HridaySamrat Balasaheb Thackeray Maharashtra Samruddhi Mahamarg', linking the state capital and the second capital, and slated to slash the travel time from current 16 to around 8 hours.
The Phase I of the expressway was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on December 11, 2022, from Nagpur to Shirdi, a distance of around 520 km.
The focus will now shift to the final 101-km long lap of Phase III - Igatpuri-Mumbai - which is expected to be ready by the year-end, and the project is being implemented by Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC).
The expressway, one of the longest in the country, is being built at a cost of around Rs 55,000 crore and will pass through 10 districts of the state, with improved road connectivity to another 14 districts, thus boosting development to around 24 districts in Vidarbha, Marathwada and Khandesh regions of the state.
The expressway will also link with other major infrastructure projects like the Delhi-Mumbai Expressway, Jawaharlal Nehru Port Authority, major tourism and religious places like Ajanta-Ellora caves, Lonar Lake, Shiri, Verul, etc.
Incidentally, the Phase I has come under flak from various quarters for the complete lack of supporting amenities like drinking water, toilets, food courts, ATMs, petrol stations, etc., and the spate of accidents that are taking place there regularly.