Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the first leg of the new Delhi-Mumbai Expressway (DME) – the Sohna(Haryana)-Dausa(Rajasthan) section on Saturday. Part of the grand expressway in making, this stretch is expected to bring down the travel time between Delhi and Jaipur, which are distanced at about 280 km, to around two hours.
What is the Delhi-Mumbai Expressway project?
1)Started in 2018, the eight-lane DME is being built to reduce the travel time between the national capital and the financial capital from nearly 24 hours to 12 hours and shorten the distance between them by 130 km. Being built at a staggering cost of ₹98,000 crore, the 1,380 km long project will cover the states of Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Gujarat.
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2) Many cities along the way including Jaipur, Udaipur, Indore, Vadodara, etc are also expected to economically benefit from this project, a government statement said. The construction of the expressway is also hoped to result in annual fuel savings of over 320 million liters and reduce CO2 emissions by 850 million kg.
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3) As per the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, this project is the first in Asia and only the second in the world to have animal overpasses. They will stretch at a length of 7 km for unhindered wildlife movement. The project will also encompass two 8-lane tunnels of length 4 km each for eco-sensitive zones.
4) 12 lakh tons of steel will be consumed in the construction of DME, equivalent to building ‘50 Howrah bridges’, the ministry said. Its construction is a part of the first phase of the ‘Bharatmala Pariyojana’ and is likely to be completed by March 2023.
5) The ministry also said that factors such as geographical conditions of the regions through which the project passes were considered for its longevity and durability. Specific pavement designs were adopted for Delhi – Vadodara and Vadodara-Mumbai sections to ensure that ‘the highway stands the test of time’.