Supriya Ghosh (Editor)

Mumbai Pune Expressway

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Covid-19
Existed:  2002 – present
East end:  Dehu Road, Pune
Length  94.5 km
West end:  Kalamboli, Navi Mumbai
States:  Maharashtra
Constructed  2002
Mumbai Pune Expressway Mumbai Pune Expressway
Major cities  Navi Mumbai, Lonavla, Panvel, Khandala
Similar  Western Express Highway, Eastern Express Highway, Eastern Freeway (Mumbai)

Outstanding visuals of mumbai pune expressway onboard volvo bus magnificient tunnels greenery etc


The Mumbai Pune Expressway, (officially known as the Yashwantrao Chavan Mumbai Pune Expressway) is India's first six-lane concrete, high-speed, access controlled tolled expressway. It spans a distance of 94.5 km (58.7 mi) connecting Mumbai, the administrative capital of Maharashtra and the financial capital of India, with Pune, an industrial and educational hub. The expressway, which was fully operationalized in 2002, introduced new levels of speed and safety in automobile transportation to Indian roads. It is one of India's busiest roads.

Contents

Map of Mumbai - Pune Expy, Maharashtra

The expressway has reduced the travel time between the cities of Mumbai and Pune to approximately two hours. For most practical purposes, it has replaced the older Mumbai-Pune stretch of the Mumbai-Chennai National Highway (NH 4), which had become extremely congested and accident-prone over time. The expressway starts at Kalamboli (near Panvel), and ends at Dehu Road (near Pune). It cleaves through the scenic Sahyadri mountain ranges through passes and tunnels. It has six interchanges: Shedung, Chowk, Khalapur, Lonavala, Kusgaon and Talegaon.

The expressway has two carriageways with three concrete lanes, each separated by a central divider and a tarmac or concrete shoulder on either side. Vehicles with fewer than four wheels and agricultural tractors are not permitted, although tractor-trailers (semi-trailer rigs) are permitted. The expressway handles about 43,000 PCUs daily, and is designed to handle up to 1,000,000 PCUs. This road has improved transport between these 2 metro cities and helped the economy.

Drive along mumbai pune expressway during rainy season


History

The credit and respect of idea to build a road which takes travel between Mumbai and Pune to less than 3 hours goes to Shiv Sena chief Balasaheb Thackeray. Earlier with the regular roads, it used to take more time. This is a dream project to carve a road within Sahyadri

In 1990, the Government of Maharashtra appointed RITES and Scott Wilson Kirkpatrick to carry out feasibility studies for the new expressway to be operated on toll basis. RITES submitted their report in 1994 with the estimated cost of project at 11.46 billion (US$170 million).

The Government of Maharashtra entrusted the work of the construction of Mumbai-Pune expressway to MSRDC in March 1997 on Build-Operate-Transfer basis with permission to collect toll for 30 years. The environmental clearance from the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India was received on 13 October 1997. The Forest Clearance was received on 11 November 1997.

The tender notice was published in leading newspapers all over India and also on the Internet. Due to the wide publicity, 133 tenders were sold and on 18 December 1997, 55 tenders were received. After technical and financial evaluation, tenders were accepted and work orders were given on 1 January 1998 to four contractors. Thereafter tenders for widening of Khandala and Lonavala-Khandala bypass works were invited. The tenders were received on 24 August 1998 and orders were issued on 4 September 1998.

Construction

This six laner project was completed under the stewardship of the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC).
The expressway cost 16.3 billion (US$240 million) to construct.
The first sections opened in 2000, and the entire route was completed, opened to traffic and made fully operational from April 2002.

Tunnels

It has five illuminated, ventilated tunnels totalling 5,724 metres. These tunnels were built by the Konkan Railway Corporation Ltd.

These are:

The entire length of expressway has a single layer of barbed wire fencing to keep out stray cattle.

Toll Plazas

Toll is collected at Khalapur (Pali Phata) (for the Mumbai-Pune direction) and at Talegaon (for the Pune-Mumbai direction). The toll ranges from 195 (US$2.90) for private cars, to 1,750 (US$26) for multi-axle trailer trucks. The toll collection data is kept as secret as per the RTI raised by Vivek Velankar. The Expressway contract with the Ideal Road Builders (IRB) has been uploaded but the toll collection details are not there. There is no plan to give toll waiver for this expressway.

Safety issues

The Expressway has witnessed a large number of auto accidents, attributed to human errors and the large volume of traffic. In the first 10 years since its opening, there were 1,758 accidents with more than 400 fatalities. Sporadic instances of robbery have also been reported in the highway.

On 28 May 2012, 27 people were reported to have died and another 26 injured in a road accident when a speeding tempo hit a stationary bus carrying passengers near Khalapur.

On 10 June 2010, at least 10 people were injured and 30 vehicles were damaged in a pileup near Kamshet which occurred when a MSRTC bus skidded inside a tunnel.

The heavy rains in June and July 2015 caused heavy landslides at Khandala and Adoshi tunnels, which prompted the PWD to remove loose rocks to prevent further landslides. To carry out such works, the expressway near to the Lonavala exit till Khopoli exit was closed from 10 am to 5 pm for 10 days after the landslide near Adoshi tunnel on 18 July 2015 which took three lives and halted the traffic for two months. The boulders fell on both carriageways which caused huge diversion of traffic towards the old highway.

Future Expansion

MSRDC has decided to extend the Mumbai Pune Expressway from the current endpoint of Kalamboli near Panvel and to extend it till Sion in Mumbai. The extended stretch will reduce commuting time between Mumbai and Pune by 30 minutes. Under the plan, the Sion Panvel Expressway corridor will be widened, with dedicated lanes for heavy and light vehicles. Service roads will be built for entry and exit at various points. It will also involve constructing a brand new bridge over the Thane creek parallel to the current Vashi Mankhurd Bridge. MSRDC will undertake the expansion project. Work is expected to commence in March 2009 and complete by September 2011. The new 22-km link is expected to cost 8 billion (US$120 million). As of July 2016 no work on this extension has been started.

MSRDC is planning to widen the expressway from current 6 lane to 8 lane. The proposal has been presented in Maharashtra Cabinet for approval.

Naming

The expressway was conceived and the work started when the BJP and Shiv Sena governed Maharashtra. Eventually, in 2009, the ruling coalition (Congress, NCP) named the expressway after the first Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Yashavantrao Chavan, an early member of the Congress party.

Connecting Cities

Apart from providing faster connectivity from Mumbai to Pune, the expressway has also connected cities like Satara, Sangli, Kolhapur, Belgaum, Hubli and Bangalore with Mumbai and reduced the travel time between these cities. A 34km long road has been constructed which bypasses the Pune Metropolitan Area which has also eased the traffic. With the construction of the Pune City ring road, the many faraway suburbs and financial districts of Pune would get a direct link to the expressway and would not have to cross the entire urban Pune area.

References

Mumbai Pune Expressway Wikipedia


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