MSRDC Proposes Eight-Lane Expansion of Mumbai-Pune Expressway to Tackle Traffic Woes

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Pune/Mumbai, 26th February 2024: The Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) has proposed the expansion of the Mumbai-Pune Expressway to an eight-lane highway to alleviate traffic congestion. The proposal, submitted to the Maharashtra State Government a week ago, outlines an increase in project cost by 280 crores, taking the total from 5800 crores to 6080 crores. MSRDC is currently faced with the challenge of securing these additional funds, and the proposal calls for financial support from the Maharashtra State Government under budgetary provisions.

The Mumbai-Pune Expressway, spanning 94.5 km and established in 2002 to reduce travel distance between Mumbai and Pune, has evolved into Maharashtra’s pivotal and busiest highway. Currently, approximately 155,000 vehicles traverse this expressway daily. However, with a foreseeable surge in vehicular traffic, there is a growing need to expand the existing six-lane highway to eight lanes. The intensified traffic has led to significant congestion and increased concerns about potential accidents. In response to these challenges, the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) has decided to upgrade the highway to eight lanes. Over the past several months, the MSRDC has diligently worked on formulating the proposal, which was recently finalized and forwarded to the Maharashtra State Government for approval.

The estimated cost for upgrading the Mumbai-Pune Expressway to eight lanes was initially Rs 5800 crore, but it has now increased to Rs 6080 crore, with an additional expense of 280 crores. MSRDC attributes this cost escalation to the construction of additional bridges in the eight-lane expansion. The corporation is faced with the challenge of securing these funds, and hence, it has urged the Maharashtra State Government to allocate the necessary budgetary provision.

If the Maharashtra Government does not provide the required funds, MSRDC is considering an alternative approach. Sources reveal that if government funding is not forthcoming, MSRDC will explore raising funds through loans and recover the project cost using road tax. The current collection period for road tax on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway extends until 2050. To recoup the expenses incurred for the eight-lane expansion, MSRDC might extend the road tax collection period by 8-10 years, potentially collecting taxes on this expressway until 2060.