Maharashtra’s Public Works Department Minister Eknath Shinde announced that a four-lane expressway will be built to enable people travel from Mumbai to Goa in 5 hours.

Shinde, addressing the Upper House said that the expressway spanning the 500-km stretch will be built along the lines of Mumbai-Nagpur Expressway.

The proposed expressway will begin at Chirle village in Navi Mumbai and will end at Patradevi village, located on the Maharashtra-Goa border. Currently, it takes anywhere between 12-14 hours by road to Goa through National Highway 66- which passes through Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

MSRDC has been tasked to come up with the project report, which the ministry has said should be environment-friendly.

“The expressway will open up tourism opportunities in the Konkan region, in addition to generating jobs for locals. Further, it will also give producers of mango, cashew and areca nuts a direct access to international markets,” added Shinde.

This project is along the lines of Los Angeles-San Francisco Pacific Coast Highway and will complement the existing Mumbai-Goa route (NH-66), which is undergoing concretisation. The Ministry of Road Ttransport and Highways is concretising a 366-km stretch which is estimated to cost ₹11,500 crore covering Navi Mumbai, Raigad and Sindhudurg.

Ratings agency ICRA, in its recent study has pointed out that out of 117 Hybrid Annuity road projects (awarded from January 2016 to March 2019), 107 projects are witnessing execution delays. This translates to 90 per cent of the projects. The main reasons can be attributed to delays in land acquisition and tight liquidity.

However, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH)in a recent notification said that with the use of technology it has ensured that benefits are done through direct transfers, instead of manual transfers. This has helped in speeding up of land notification process. MoRTH said that around 37,078 hectares of land notified in 21 months since April 1 2018 against 33,005 hectares in previous four years.