New Delhi: As part of efforts to boost road infrastructure for faster connectivity, the Centre is planning to start work on 10 world-class express highways, which will not only reduce travel time but also propel country's economic growth, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari has said.
"We will soon build ten express highways on the pattern of Mumbai-Pune Express Highway. These include Nagpur-Mumbai, Bangalore-Chennai, Baroda-Mumbai, Katra-Amritsar and Ludhiana-Delhi," Road Transport and Highways Minister Gadkari told PTI.
Gadkari said work on these projects will start soon and once completed they will not only reduce travel time between major cities but would also contribute significantly towards the economic growth.
"All these express highways are going to be world class matching the quality and specifications in advanced nations and once completed would result in huge savings in fuel cost," he said.
Gadkari has to his credit building Mumbai-Pune express highway during his stint as state's PWD Minister besides he is known as 'flyover man from Maharashtra' for constructing a network of flyover in the state.
He said most of the proposed ten projects including the about Rs 6,000 crore 260-km Bengaluru-Chennai expressway will be concrete cement highways.
The Nagpur-Mumbai express highway, connecting two major cities Nagpur and Aurangabad in Maharashtra with capital city Mumbai, will also save significant time, he said.
Ludhiana-Delhi expressway is proposed on new alignment linking the national Capital with Ludhiana, which would also have a separate node to connect Chandigarh and the same is likely to reduce distance between Delhi and Ludhiana by 50 km.
Gadkari said his Ministry is committed to contributing at least 2 per cent to the GDP besides aimed at reducing accidents by more more than 50 per cent in the next two years.
About three lakh persons are crippled annually in 5 lakh road accidents, while another 1.5 lakh lose their lives.
He said government is committed to provide jobs to at least 50 lakh people in highways and shipping sectors where it plans to undertake massive projects worth Rs 6 lakh crore.
Earlier this month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that road infrastructure is key to the development of a nation.
An express highway is a controlled-access highways, mostly 6-lane or above, where entrance and exit is controlled by the use of slip roads (ramps) that are incorporated into the design of the highway.
The Indian road network of 33 lakh kms is the second largest in the world and consists of 92,851 kms of National Highways, which constitutes only 1.7 per cent of the road network but carry about 40 per cent of the total road traffic.