Mumbai to Goa in less than five hours? New highway to be ready by 2024: Gadkari
Mumbai to Goa drive is set to become a breeze from early next year as the National Highway 66 between the two places is set to be operational from January, 2024. Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari took an aerial survey of the highway on Thursday, which is being constructed in phases. He assured that the work on the Mumbai-Goa National Highway 66 will be completed by the end of the year.
Once completed, Mumbai to Goa drive will be reduced to around four and a half hours. The distance between Mumbai and Goa is nearly 600 kms and currently takes around 11 hours to drive between the two places via the National Highway 48.
The Mumbai-Goa National Highway 66 is being constructed in 10 phases. Two of these phases are still under construction. "By December, the entire stretch will be available for vehicular movement and the distance can be completed in four-and-a-half hours," Gadkari said, after surveying the sections on Thursday.
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The highway will also have two tunnels which are also under construction in the Kashedi ghat region. "One tunnel will be open for vehicular traffic before the monsoon season. The construction of the remaining tunnel will be completed by October this year," Gadkari added.
The construction on the National Highway 66 has been delayed due to issues like land acquisition, permissions, as well as contractors who were tasked to complete the two stretches of the highway 12 years ago. "However, all matters are resolved now and the highway, which also connects Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) and Dighi port, will help in the progress of the country," Gadkari assured.
Once operational, NHAI will charge tolls on vehicles using the highway. However, Gadkari has not shared any timeline when tolls will be charged. He said, "As per the rules, if 75 per cent of the road construction is completed then toll is charged"
The Mumbai-Goa National Highway 66 will go through 66 different tourist spots in the Konkan region which is expected to boost revenue for the state as well.