In its bid to build world class road infrastructure across the country, the Union transport ministry has decided to build 10 world-class express highways and is all set to start the construction work on the proposed projects. The newly planned express highways, which will be on the pattern of Mumbai-Pune Express Highway, include Nagpur-Mumbai, Bangalore-Chennai, Baroda-Mumbai, Katra-Amritsar and Ludhiana-Delhi, said official sources claiming that these projects will start soon and once completed they will not only reduce travel time between major cities but would also contribute significantly towards the economic improvement of the masses in the countryside. These express highways are going to be world class matching the quality and specifications of those in advanced nations and once completed would result in huge savings in fuel cost.
According to sources, most of the proposed ten projects including the Rs 6,000cr 260-km Bengaluru-Chennai expressways will be concrete cement highways. The Nagpur-Mumbai express highway, connecting two major cities Nagpur and Aurangabad in Maharashtra with capital city Mumbai, will also save significant time. While Ludhiana-Delhi expressway is proposed on new alignment linking the national Capital with Ludhiana, which would also have a separate mode to connect Chandigarh, is likely to reduce distance between Delhi and Ludhiana by 50 km. An express highway is a controlled-access highways, mostly 6-lane or above, where entrance and exit is controlled by the use of slip roads (ramps) that are incorporated into the design of the highway. The Indian road network of 33 lakh kms is the second largest in the world and consists of 92,851 kms of National Highways, which constitutes only 1.7 per cent of the road network but carry about 40% of the total road traffic, they added.