The 244-kilometre-long stretch of the Delhi-Mumbai expressway (DME) in Madhya Pradesh is almost complete and is likely to be opened for the public around July-August, The News18 reported on Friday (16 June).
Earlier on 12 February 2023, the 246-km-long first leg of Delhi-Mumbai expressway between Sohna in Haryana and Dausa in Rajasthan was opened to traffic.
Quoting an official from the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, the report said the stretch in Madhya Pradesh is complete and only finishing is left.
“The basic structure is ready. Some finishing is left that will be completed in the next couple of days. This section in Madhya Pradesh is likely to be inaugurated in July or August,” the official said, seeking anonymity.
The DME passes through Mandsaur, Ratlam and Jhabua districts in Madhya Pradesh and will connect major cities, including Garoth, Jaora, Ratlam, and Thandla in the state.
The expressway work in Madhya Pradesh has been divided into nine packages. According to the report, work on eight of the nine packages of the Delhi-Mumbai expressway passing through the state have been completed.
The status of the work as updated by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) at the end of March 2023 is below:
The completion of the work on the critical stretch is already delayed beyond 30 April 2023 which was the target date for completion of work in Madhya Pradesh as per the official documents.
The 1,386-km-long Delhi-Mumbai Expressway, being developed at an estimated cost of over Rs 1 lakh crore, will be India’s longest expressway and one of the fastest to be built anywhere in the world.
The expressway passes through Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Maharashtra.
The expressway, once complete, would reduce the travel time between Delhi and Mumbai to 12 hours from the present 24 hours and also cut the journey by 180 km (from 1,424 km to 1,242 km).
The eight-lane access-controlled greenfield expressway has scope for expansion to a 12-lane expressway with a 21-metre median depending on the volume of traffic.
The Expressway will also serve 93 PM Gati Shakti economic nodes, 13 ports, 8 major airports and 8 multi-modal logistics parks along with spurs to new upcoming greenfield airports such as Jewar Airport, Navi Mumbai Airport and JNPT port.
Newly-appointed secretary of the Road Transport and Highways Ministry, Anurag Jain, recently stated that the Delhi-Mumbai Expressway is expected to be completed by December 2024.