Mumbai-Nagpur expressway to be named after Bal Thackeray

Mammoth project: Tunneling work for the ₹55,335 crore Mumbai-Nagpur super communication expressway in progress at Nandgaon village near Igatpuri in Nashik district.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The State Cabinet on Wednesday decided to name the under-construction Mumbai-Nagpur super communication expressway after Shiv Sena founder late Bal Thackeray. The Cabinet also approved additional share capital of ₹3,500 crore to reduce the burden of loan the State will raise for this project, which will in turn bring down the interest amount by ₹2,500 crore.

The total cost of the project is estimated to be around ₹55,335 crore and the road construction will be completed within the next three years, minister Eknath Shinde said after the Cabinet meeting. The State’s existing share capital in the project is ₹27,335 crore, which includes ₹3,500 crore from the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation, ₹5,500 crore from public undertakings, ₹2,414 crore in the form of royalty waived on minerals, ₹6,396 crore to pay the interest on loan during the construction period, and ₹9,525 crore in the form of land price, which includes compensation.

An officer from the Finance Department said, “The government is planning to raise the rest of the money through bank loans. Higher the loan, more will be the interest. It also raises questions on the viability of the project. As a result, the State government has approved an additional ₹3,500 crore as share capital. This will reduce the loan amount and ultimately less money will be spent in the form of interest.” The 700-km super expressway, which is scheduled to be completed in 2021, is estimated to cut down travel time between Mumbai and Nagpur to less than nine hours. The road is likely to boost connectivity and help trade grow along the route.

Addressing the media after the cabinet meeting, Mr. Shinde said he moved the proposal to name the expressway after the Sena founder. He said, “It was readily accepted by all ministers.”

The previous government, led by the Bharatiya Janata Party, had planned to name the expressway after late Atal Bihari Vajpayee and had even submitted the proposal for the same to then chief minister Devendra Fadnavis.

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Printable version | Jul 25, 2021 3:15:20 AM |

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