Radheshyam Mopalwar, Vice-Chairman and Managing Director of Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) during a video-conference with media informed that around 40 per cent of the work of the ambitious Hindu Hrudaysamrat Balasaheb Thackeray Maharashtra Samruddhi Mahamarg from Nagpur to Mumbai has been completed so far and now the emphasis is on development of new towns along the route. In fact, at the given pace, Nagpur-Igatpuri leg of Samruddhi Mahamarg will be operational by December 2021.
As per information, COVID-19 situation had caused some setback to the pace of the work of Samruddhi Mahamarg. “Manpower of 18,000 was engaged in construction work of 701 km long Samruddhi Mahamarg. However, lockdown and subsequent labour issues had some impact on the work. Now, in July, labourers have started returning from their home towns. Workforce of around 14,000 is back to work-sites. The work is being done on fast-track,” he said. The entire work is divided into seven packages. The work in Amravati, Washim East, and Buldhana East has made some good progress, and the work in other districts of Vidarbha is catching up fast.Overall, the project has made 30 per cent financial progress and 40 per cent physical progress in Vidarbha region. The entire stretch going through Vidarbha will be completed by December 2021.
There are no issues relating to land acquisition. “State Government has taken some conscious decisions like raising the equity in the project and reducing debt burden. Besides, youngsters from project-affected families are being skilled to equip them for gainful employment opportunities in future,” said Mopalwar. The project has assured employment generation potential of 5 lakh in a decade since completion of the project, and there are some estimates hinting at 20 lakh direct and indirect employment opportunities in more than a decade’s time, he added.
As far as district-wise progress is concerned, Mopalwar informed that 31 km leg of the communication super expressway passed through Nagpur. It comprises around 111 structures including flyovers, viaducts, and major bridges, and minor bridges, pedestrian and light vehicular underpasses. Of these, 63 structures have already been constructed in Nagpur district.Construction has gained momentum in Wardha, Washim, Amravati and Buldhana districts too.
In Wardha, 93 out of 153 structures have been completed and work is in progress for 41 structures. In Amravati, 151 out of 199 structures have been completed and work on 46 is in progress. In Washim, 209 structures have been proposed, of which 96 have been completed and work on 49 is in progress. In Buldhana, construction of 83 out of 178 structures has been completed.
The proposed Mumbai-Kolkata bullet train project is to pass through Nagpur. Asked about its alignment with Samruddhi Mahamarg, Mopalwar said, “There is no engineering or alignment conflict between the two projects.” Mopalwar said that Mumbai-Kolkata bullet train project’s interim report was prepared some years ago. Even if the track alignment of Samruddhi Mahamarg is taken for the project, there is no issue. The turning radius and track alignment of Samruddhi Mahamarg is more than what is required for the train project.
He also said that as many as 20 new towns would be set up along Samruddhi Mahamarg. Of these, 10 would be set up in Vidarbha region. MSRDC has adopted an eight-phase programme for the same.
The programme includes inception and stakeholder consultation, geo-reference mapping, existing land use study, market study and demand assessment; preparing of concept map or visioning of expected development of a particular area over the next decade, its principal occupation and other factors; drafting development plan, preparing final report and submission of detailed project report. Waghmare said that MSRDC had completed the first five phases from the mentioned programme.