The opening of much awaited ambitious project of Maharashtra government Hinduhridaysamrat Balasaheb Thackeray Samruddhi Mahamarg Phase 1 between Nagpur and Shirdi has been postponed due to spike in coronavirus cases in Maharashtra.
Now as per the revised deadline, the phase 1 of the project will be open in September and October only if the prevailing situation improves, said an official from the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC).
He explained, “Due to the Covid-19 fearful condition among workers’ their productive on project site has drastically reduced.
The progress of construction work is also slow compared to Pre-covid period. Besides, due to the imposition of lockdown the contractors are finding it difficult to procure raw material; there is a shortage and insufficient workers to carry out the work are other major factors that we are facing on ground.”
Considering the alarming covid -19 situation, government is engaged in providing medical facilities. Completing the infrastructure projects on set timeline at present is not the priority as many government agencies have been roped in to set up Covid care centres, the official asserted.
According to initial plams the phase 1 of the project was scheduled to be open for traffic movement from May 1. The phase 2 between Shirdi and Igatpuri comprising of 103 km was supposed to be open to the public in December and the remaining stretch of 78 km between Igatpuri and Wadpe near Mumbai to be commissioned on May 1 next year.
In the 701 km long Samruddhi Mahamarg project reportedly uptill March 31st about 52.6 per cent of financial expenditure progress and 55 per cent of the civil progress was recorded.
This expressway passing through 10 districts, 26 talukas and 392 villages once ready will cut down the travel time between Nagpur and Mumbai from existing 16 to eight hours. Currently, to reach Nagpur, one has to take NH3 (Mumbai-Dhule) and then NH6 (Dhule -Nagpur) comprising 800 kilometres.