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Speed factor at play in Mumbai-Nagpur Samruddhi expressway project

The 700 km express highway will connect Mumbai with the state's second capital of Nagpur and pass through 10 districts and 26 talukas.

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Speed factor at play in Mumbai-Nagpur Samruddhi expressway project
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The show-piece Mumbai-Nagpur Samruddhi expressway may be designed for vehicular speeds up to 150km per hour, but the state road safety council has voiced concerns about the chances of higher accidents on the road due to tyre bursts.

The 700 km express highway will connect Mumbai with the state's second capital of Nagpur and pass through 10 districts and 26 talukas. The Rs 46,000 crore alignment from Thane to Nagpur is billed as a regional development project as it will provide port connectivity to the hinterlands of the state, involve development of agro development nodes or Krushi Samruddi Kendras and incorporate features like automatic number plate registration, access control and an underground network of optical fibre and utilities.

A senior official from the Maharashtra State Roads Development Corporation (MSRDC), which is developing the project, said the speed limit on the road was likely to be 120 km per hour. However, the highway will be designed for maximum speeds of 150 km per hour.

"Accidents and tyre bursts happen on the Mumbai- Pune expressway when vehicles travel on speeds of 130 and 140 km per hour. This is because tyres are not designed for these speeds," noted transport minister Diwakar Raote, who heads the road safety council.

He added that the issue of the speed limit on the Samruddhi highway and tyre bursts being a likely cause of mishaps on the road was discussed in last month's meeting of the council.

Raote said they would approach the Centre to seek that directions be issued to stakeholders like tyre manufacturers on points like the number of kilometres that a tyre can be used, the duration for which remoulded tyres can be used and the need for expertise to be developed to check the health of tyres.

However, a MSRDC official said the road would have a better quality of construction, which would minimise mishaps due to poor design. "These are non-issues. The road geometry will be excellent and hence, chances of accidents will be low. On the contrary, the chances of mishaps are higher on poor quality and badly designed roads," he claimed.

The construction of the Samruddi expressway has been divided into 16 packages and the official said work had been launched in January. "Work is going on in full swing on all packages. The Nagpur-Nashik stretch is expected to be completed 30 months (mid-2021), while the Nashik-Thane stretch that involves construction of huge tunnels will take six months more," said another official.

"Tyre manufacturing technology has developed and matured over the years. Moreover, having an unrealistic (low) speed limit on the road makes little sense as the idea is to ensure people can travel between Mumbai and Nagpur in seven hours," he explained.

Work Started In Jan

  • The 700km express highway will connect Mumbai with the state’s second capital of Nagpur and pass through 10 districts. 
  • The Rs 46,000-crore construction works of Samruddi expressway has been divided into 16 packages and the official said work had been launched in January
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