One of the most anticipated projects of India is back in action after the Covid slowdown. The Delhi-Mumbai Expressway has been in the development plan of the Government since March 2019.
This 1350 kilometres expressway will add to the glory of the Golden Quadrilateral, which connects four major metro cities of India; Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Chennai. The project was primarily issued by the Union Ministers, Nitin Gadkari- Minister for Road Transport & Highways, and Sushma Swaraj: Former Minister of External Affairs, and Arun Jaitley: Former Minister of Finance. The expressway is planned to have an eight lane-system and aims to be developed into a 12 lane-system in the future. The Government’s estimated budget has been drawn with the help of the National Highways of India (NHAI), which is 1-lakh crore rupees.
The project includes the construction of three major greenfield expressways: the (1350 km) Delhi-Mumbai stretch, (300 km) Ambala-Kotpulti, and lastly, Amritsar-Jamnagar stretch, which is 1000km. Out of which the top priorities of the NHAI are the Delhi- Mumbai Expressway and the Ambala-Kotpulti stretch and has estimated its completion by March 2022.
Minister for Road Transport & Highways, Nitin Gadkari, assured that the Delhi-Mumbai Expressway would be functioning by December 2021 and entirely completed by 2023. The Government has divided the expressway into 44 packages, out of which 38 packages have already been assigned work and are in momentum towards completion.
Over two years, The Delhi-Mumbai Expressway has been constantly observed for changes and improvements to better the project. The Government emerged with somewhat effective measures to connect these two metropolitan cities. The project’s primary aims were to ease connectivity between the two cities, and the essential part was time management. The main concerns of the NHAI were to ease the traffic on National Highway 48(NH 48). The congestion of entry and exit points creates discomfort for the travellers, which became the new Delhi-Mumbai Expressway’s primary aim to clear out that corridor as much as possible.
To Get The Utmost Results, When It Comes To The Travel Time Following Were The Measures Taken By The NHAI And The Ministry For Road Transport & Highways:
- The Delhi-Mumbai Expressway will have controlled access, which provides an unhindered traffic flow, which has no traffic signals, intersection points, or property access. This will result in NH48 being a single lane or dual carriage corridor at some places.
- The expressway begins at Sohna in Gurgaon, Haryana, and ends at Mira-Bhayander in Mumbai, provided two extensions on both sides of the expressway. Connecting Sarai Kale Khan in Delhi at 60 kilometres and Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust in Mumbai at 90 kilometres to the Virar corridor.
- The route that follows the expressway passes through Gurgaon, Haryana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujrat, and then later the Vadodara-Gujrat corridor will run parallel to the NH48 until Mira-Bhayandar.
- The state travel distance calculation will be Haryana- (80 km), Rajasthan-(380km), Madhya Pradesh-(370km), Gujrat-(300km), and Maharashtra-(120km); thus, the distance is decreased by 150 kilometres in total which makes the travel time approximately 12 hours.
- Because of this route, the travellers also save their fuel cost. It’s environmentally effective because the Government calculated the amount of fuel which rounds about 32,00,00,000 litres saved every year, which adversely accounts for less pollution in the given zone.
The administration of the expressway depends entirely on how effective the finances are spread out across the project’s construction. Initially, the total expenditure of 1 lakh crore was broken off into 60,00 crore for construction and 40,000 crores for land permits and acquisitions. As the project’s discussion extends, the Government lets out the financial details for public knowledge and understanding.
The Financial Breakdown Of The Delhi-Mumbai Expressway:
- The corridor planned for the Delhi-Varodara stretch has now emerged into the Delhi-Mumbai Expressway under the Bharat Mala Pariyojana. The Delhi-Vorodara corridor has been declared to be built in the Hybrid Annuity Model. The bifurcation is listed as 40% of the costs will beared by the Government, and the Contractors will bear 60%. After the expressway is completed the contractors are given a fixed rate of compensation yearly to contribute to the project.
- The more significant funds for the project have been drawn in by the State Bank of India, which has agreed to contribute 5000 crore rupees to the expressway.
- There are also clubbed investors under the Special Purpose Vehicles (SPV), including Punjab National Bank, Bank of Maharashtra, and Axis Bank.
- Recently, The NHAI and the SPV and Delhi-Mumbai Expressway (DME) developers have managed to raise 9,731crores to part-fund the greenfield expressway.
- After calculating the expressway expenditure, the DME developers have assured that this particular expressway has the economic potential of 50,000-80,000 crores, which can be collected through toll plazas.
- The fact that the route that the expressway follows largely is spread over an urbanized area leading to high land acquisition cost, and since the project is under Hybrid Annuity Model which means that the construction of roads in the region are constructed by renewing the interest of private developers in highway projects which will thus help the Government save 16,000 crores due to the new alignment of the expressway.
While considering the expenditure, administration of the project, Minister for Road Transport & Highways Nitin Gadkari, in his Lok Sabha session on 25th March 2021, hinted towards the ecological thrust that he wants the project to achieve the ideal project of the country.
He said that the Ministry for Road Transport & Highways is planning to construct a special ‘Electronic Highway’ (E-Highway) on the expressway so the heavy carriers like trucks and buses can also run at the speed of 120kph (Kilometer per Hour) and bring the logistics down of the project by 70 per cent in total. The Ministry was influenced and inspired by the Siemens technology of E-Highways in Germany. Introduced in Germany in 2019, where the system is attached and controlled by cable suspenders being attached on the highway, specially equipped trucks can draw power for an electric motor similar to how electric trains operate and recharge their power the go. This would also help the trucks and buses during accidents to stop as the power is automatically shut down and the vehicle comes to a halt.
Nitin Gadkari stressed that this technology could help generate the environmental awareness and precautions we need today. Germany was able to reduce its carbon emissions and took a step towards energy consumptions. But at the end of his proposition, he clarified that the final decision is yet to be taken on the given issue.