In March 2024, travelling between Chennai and Bengaluru will become quite enjoyable as against the present painful experience. After clearing many hurdles, especially land acquisition, the 262-km long 8-lane Chennai-Bengaluru expressway being built at a cost of ₹16,730 crore has gained rapid pace in the last few months. T

he motorway when completed, will enable vehicles to travel at around 120 kmph and also shorten distance between the two cities by nearly 40 km.

In other words, the expressway will reduce travel time between the two cities by half. It now takes 5-6 hours by road due to heavy congestion at both ends and by rail too, it takes 5-6 hours. Out of the 262 km between the two cities, highway passes through 106 km in Karnataka, 85 km in Tamil Nadu and 71 km in Andhra Pradesh.

Interestingly, in this stretch, there is a 52 km greenfield expressway coming up, consisting of five bypasses which will reduce traffic blocks in the city and create a hassle-free journey for all commuters, says the minister.

Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari, after inspecting the progress of the expressway said that the project would be cost-efficient for vehicle operators and lessen fuel consumption.

It will strengthen the economic activities between Bengaluru and Chennai, and also connect the industrial hubs in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh to the Chennai port. Gadkari said that the expressway will be finished by March 2024. He went on to say that once the new road gets completed, there would hardly be any requirement for flights to connect the two cities.

J Senthil, a frequent traveller to Bengaluru from Chennai feels that the project will be a major boon for riders.

However, the critical part is to take care of the last mile connectivity at both ends. Due to heavy congestion in both the cities, entering the highway from the city and vice versa takes a lot of time. This needs to be sorted out by both the State governments to make the expressway more enjoyable; if not it will be a nightmare trip, he adds.