Source: The Times of India Mumbai April 26, 2013

MUMBAI: The lane expansion of Mumbai-Goa highway's 366-km stretch from Indapur to Zarap has inched ahead. The Centre has given in-principle approval to expand the highway from two to four lanes to eliminate head-on collisions. But ministers and officials involved in the project say that because of factors like seeking clearances, land acquisition and the tendering process, work is unlikely to start before 2015.

The project will take three-four years to be finished as it involves long-drawn tasks such as digging tunnels through ghats, widening bridges and eliminating hairpin bends.

State PWD minister Chhagan Bhujbal said that the Union ministry of road transport and highways (MORTH) had decided in principle to take up the widening work, but the particulars of a formal decision and the project outline needed to be worked out. "Other than planning, the project needs land acquisition, green certificate, tendering, arranging finances, etc. We hope to kick-start the work by 2015," Bhujbal told TOI.

Meanwhile, PWD chief engineer P S Mandpe said a project implementation unit would be formed under MORTH's regional officer. MORTH regional officer Rajeev Singh said he had not yet received anything concrete regarding this from New Delhi.


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