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CM Fadnavis, Union minister Gadkari put Bhiwandi on path of infra development

Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and Union minister for road transport and highways Nitin Gadkari on Thursday laid the foundation stone for widening of four-lane Thane-Vadape highway (NH 848) to eight lanes, paving the way fora smooth commute from Thane to Agra via Nashik.

NH 848 is a busy corridor, with at least 10 highways intersecting it. It also crosses the proposed Mumbai-Vadodara Expressway and provides a link to Mumbai-Nagpur Samruddhi Expressway. The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has appointed MEP Infrastructure Developers Ltd for the work, which is expected to be completed in three years.

“This is a major project that will ease traffic congestion in Mumbai and Thane. People complain about getting stuck on this stretch for hours, but the eight-lane road will solve the problem,” said Fadnavis, at Dive-Anjur, Bhiwandi.

The Rs1,182.87-crore project will be executed on hybrid annuity mode, with 60% of the cost being borne by the company and 40% by NHAI. The stretch will get a railway overbridge at Pimplas in Bhiwandi, two new major bridges on Thane creek at Kasheli and Kalwa, two minor bridges at Pimplas and Anjur in Bhiwandi, 84 culverts, a grade separator at Vadape, eight vehicular underpasses at strategic locations, a foot overbridge at Majiwada, a toll plaza at Kharegaon, a 35.293-km service road and 6.666-km slip road

Jayant Mhaiskar, chairman and managing director, MEP, said, “Financial viability of such projects will ensure speedy growth and expansion of our road infrastructure.”

According to the road ministry, the Thane-Vadape corridor along the Mumbai-Agra National Highway 3, which is part of NH 848, is one of the most congested highways. “Office-goers from Kalyan to Thane are stuck on this road during peak hours. The widening will help,” said Madhav Pandey, 40, a daily commuter.

Fadnavis and Gadkari also laid the foundation stone for widening of Shahapur-Murbad-Karjat-Khopoli highway (NH 548) to four lanes from two lanes.

First Published: Jan 25, 2019 16:14 IST

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