in a recent video-conference interaction with the real-estate body, NAREDCO, Union Minister of Road, Transport, highway and MSME, Nitin Gadkari stated that the government is looking into the possibility of building smart cities along the Delhi-Mumbai Express Highway that is being built on a new alignment.
However, a final decision on this will be taken by the Finance Ministry and the Prime Minister’s Office, he said.
“The government is looking if NHAI can plan a township along the highway (Delhi-Mumbai Expressway) … a Cabinet note has been floated for this,” Road Transport, Highways and MSME minister Gadkari said during the interaction via video-conference.
The Rs 1 lakh crore flagship Delhi-Mumbai Expressway project is scheduled to be completed within three years and expected to cut down the travel time between Delhi and Mumbai to just 12 hours.
Gadkari said the government has saved about Rs 16,000 crore on land acquisition front alone on the project on a new alignment and will pass through backward and far-flung tribal areas of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan.
A large number of roadside amenities and other projects can be taken along the highways ushering in development of the areas, he added.
The minister said road construction activities were planned at a higher pace now at least thrice the rate of construction earlier and projects worth Rs 15 lakh crore were likely to be taken in two years.
Most of the 406 stalled road projects worth Rs 3.85 lakh crore have been rolled outbarring Rs 40,000 crore worth of projects that had to be terminated, he said.