Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Shri Nitin Gadkari on April 4inaugurated and laid foundation stone for National Highway projects worth Rs. 4,135.91 crore at a function held at Panvel, Mumbai on April 3, 2022. The development work comprises dedication of Rs. 3,500 crore JNPT Port Road Connectivity Project to the nation and ground-breaking ceremony for work on National Highway No. 48, Mumbai-Pune Expressway, Kalamboli Junction Improvement Project and the eastern entrance of proposed Navi Mumbai International Airport.
Road project work has been completed to enhance the connectivity of JNPT, the country’s largest container-handling port. The Union Minister reiterated the need for waterways that connect with Navi Mumbai Airport. He said as a shipping minister he had approved jetties at Belapur and Nerul. Now the state government needs to take this further to encourage waterways. If waterways get operational, one can easily reach Navi Mumbai Airport from any part of Mumbai within 13 to 21 minutes. The state should look after water taxis, he added.
The Minister announced a new National Highway to ease traffic congestion in Panvel. The new highway will start from Chirner via Uran-JNPT-Chowk and will connect to Goa-Mumbai highway, Mumbai-Pune Expressway and Mumbai-Pune old highway. This will help to reduce traffic in Panvel. The proposed highway has four tunnels. The length of the new highway is 32 KM and is proposed to be completed in the ‘Bharatmala’ scheme. JNPT and the proposed Navi Mumbai airport are the growth engines of the state, added the Minister.
Shri Gadkari further suggested developing a smart city of 10 lakh capacity to reduce the burden on Mumbai and Navi Mumbai. Now the era is of planned development. This will in turn usher in overall development of the state as well, said Shri Gadkari.
In the last seven years, 18 highway project works worth Rs. 10,000 crore have been sanctioned for National Highways in Raigad district, out of which five have been completed and 13 are in progress. Moreover, four works of Rs. 1792.75 crore were sanctioned recently, informed the Union Minister on this occasion. Considering the heavy rainfall in Konkan region, the Minister said that all the roads in Konkan would be made of cement concrete.