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Old 7th January 2023, 21:47   #151
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Re: Samruddhi Mahamarg: 701 km super expressway will connect Nagpur to Mumbai

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Originally Posted by vivek95 View Post
I would be starting onward journey from Mumbai today evening and only agenda is to do a round trip on this Expressway, nothing else.
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Originally Posted by RashmiRathi View Post
I just did this route a week ago. The drive from Ghoti to Sinnar is on double lane ghat kind of road woth decent traffic and will take minimum 1.5-2 hours. For rest of the stretch you can assume 3-4 hours. So Bhiwandi to Shirdi will be minimum 5-5.5 hours without break.
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Originally Posted by vivek95 View Post
Will come up with a detailed post soon. This Expressway is exceptionally awesome.
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Wow, thats some motivation Vivek, have a safe drive back!

Thank you very much @RaahmiRathi and @Meer


Finally fulfilled my wish of driving my VW Polo 1.2 Comfortline Petrol on Hindu Hrudayasamrat Balasaheb Thackeray Maharashtra Samruddhi Mahamarg ( HHBTMSM ) aka Mumbai--Nagpur Super Communication Expressway.

It was an improptu drive but helped me enjoy best of both worlds- onward journey was completely overnight and return was in broad daylight. This way I could assess the safety apparatus of the Expressway viz. well lit interchanges, exit lanes and reflectors demarcating individual lanes and medians.

1. Route :-
Mumbai--NH3--Nasik--Sinnar--Pangri--Shirdi interchange--Samruddhi Mahamarg--Nagpur and back to Mumbai for onward journey. Nasik and not a short cut via Ghoti--Sinnar hilly route as I was driving at night and was not sure of road conditions.

Way back, I did take Sinnar--Ghoti route as it was daylight.

2. Timeline :-

Onward

9:25 pm (3rd Jan 2023) -- Started from Chembur, Mumbai and took Eastern Expressway--Thane route to get onto NH3. Encountered good amount of typical Mumbai traffic.

10:45 pm - Exited Mumbai metropolis at Bhiwandi--Kalyan junction ( 35 kms from origin point )

1:00 am - Exited Nasik city

1:20 to 1:40 am - break at Dhaba for dinner and tea

1:45 am - Sinnar town

2:35 am - Fuelled up at Reliance fuel station near Shirdi Interchange

2:40 am to 2:55 am - 15 mins power nap

03:00 am - hit Samruddhi Expressway starting toll plaza

7:20 am - toll plaza just before Nagpur end point ( 10 kms before Nagpur interchange ) and fuelled up at BP petrol bunk on the left side. (766 kms from origin point)

Drove into Nagpur till airport and randomly till some point below the multilayer flyover+metro route. Had breakfast at Hotel Adi Inn, took a power nap for 1 hour 10 mins and resumed journey.

Return

9:25 am - started from Nagpur interchange point / starting point of Expressway

9:30 am - crossing toll plaza

2:00 pm - exited Expressway at Shirdi interchange

2pm to 3:00 pm - 1 hour power nap + tea

8:00 pm -- reached Chembur, Mumbai ( inclusive of 15 mins power nap enroute)

3. Road conditions apart from Expressway

Mumbai -- Nasik --> Upto some point before Vasind, the road within Mumbai metropolis is taken up for widening upto 10/12 lanes or so, hence road conditions are average to bad. Rest NH3 is 85 % smooth all the way till Nasik. All potholes have been fixed post monsoons, in fact road is resurfaced at many places.

Nasik -- Sinnar --> 95% nice smooth 4 lane road except for 1 flyover which had big potholes at the end.

Sinnar to Shirdi interchange --> Huge surprise from my last drive in end 2017 !! The road seems recently 4 laned for about 80%, rest is 2 lane under construction.

Sinnar -- Ghoti on my way back -> Good 2 lane, 90% smooth well marked but laden with heavy trucks and local 2 wheeler traffic that made driving painful. I will stick to Nasik route henceforth even though a bit longer.

5. Expressway per se and everything about it

> Exceptionally awesome wide 6 lane with wide shoulder lanes. Brilliant engineering involved in the construction that is strikingly evident. This has to be India's most advanced Expressway till date !!

> Immaculate lane markings, reflectors, interchanges, sign boards, wildlife overpasses, exits, joints on bridges, smooth cement surface and what not. All this accounts for uniterrupted fast and safe drive.

> There are no tolls on main carriageways but only on exit lanes. This provides a seamless travelling experience end to end.

> Adequate width of median, hence high beam from oncoming traffic is absolutely harmless.

> Minimal car and truck traffic, there was more of private bus traffic at night. During daytime, it comprised of even lesser car and truck traffic. Hardly one or two MSRTC buses spotted. Most private luxury buses have already started taking this E-way, most of them which seemed originating from Pune/Aurangabad/Shirdi/Nasik. I am a busfan as well, so can quite figure out the routes just looking at the names. Was hoping to see VRL multiaxle Volvos that do Pune--Nagpur route but spotted none or I may have missed them. Spotted Purple travels AC sleepers though and a lot others like Chintamani Travels, Royal star, Pooja,Saini travels etc. I know there are only two direct AC sleeper buses from Mumbai to Nagpur and 2-3 from Mumbai to Yavatmal. Most buses to Marathwada and Vidarbha region start from Pune. I also spotted and chased a speeding HANS Volvo multiaxle Sleeper doing Indore--Raipur--Indore, am curious what is its actual route ?? It was doing constant 115 kmph. MSRTC should immediately deploy Shivneri Volvos on Mumbai--Nagpur, Pune--Nagpur and Aurangabad--Nagpur routes with appropriate pricing ( I know MSRTC is poor at pricing aspect, always charges exorbitant for premium services ). Had it been KSRTC, Karnataka my homestate, by now we would see plenty of Airavat Club Class, Dream class Volvos and Scanias on this Expressway.

> Stray animals here and there - Monkeys and Dogs ( something that you never see on Mumbai--Pune Expressway )

> Absolutely safe driving experience at night , what with the reflectors, well lit interchanges, sign boards etc !! Interchanges and exit lanes are so well designed that there is absolutely zero obstruction to the overall high speed traffic.

> Official speed limit is 120 kmph for cars. At some places in fact, the sign boards mention 80 limit for left most lane, 120 for middle and no figure for overtaking right most lane !!

-- Arrow head straaaaaaigght Expressway !! I didn't shift gears even once, neither honked nor reduced speed below 100 kmph at any point.

-- Only one diversion post Malegaon for 12.5 kms. It is only for Nagpur bound direction. Basically the traffic shifts onto the opposite carrigeway,so the opposite side guys simply get one and half extreme left lanes as a result of this. You can easily maintain 100-110 kmph on this diversion.

-- One short twin tunnel somewhere between Aurangabad and Jalna.

-- No ghat sections, no major curves or major uphill gradients. Straight means super straight. Nothing very scenic to speak about but the plains / deccan plateau was green at this time of the year with many trees scattered across.


-- No eating facilities but few fuel stations on either sides are operational. Many are coming up.

-- The starting point at Nagpur is beautifully done up, a tourist spot in itself. Let's wait and see how the Mumbai end will turn out, hope it's really grand !!

-- Median crash barriers are still being set installed, should take a month or so I guess.

--This is an access controlled Expressway, fencing is in the form of compound wall although not built for the entire stretch. Thus you see local villagers breaching the boundaries with their livestock. An entire herd of sheep crossed the Expressway when I drove !!

-- I don't foresee traffic to increase here even after the remaining stretch till Mumbai opens up, in the sense that it will nowhere be close to what madness we regularly see on Mumbai--Pune expressway (MPEW) for obvious reasons as the latter connects two bustling metros, industrial hubs, scenic spots all in a short distance of 93 kms.

-- Indeed this Eway is a game changer for Maharashtra as it effectively brought winter capital Nagpur closer to Mumbai/Pune. Let alone Nagpur, all those district headquarters in between like Aurangabad,Jalna,Akola, Amravati, Washim, Buldhana etc can be reached faster now. Lets hope this also paves way for uniform development of the state. I took just 10 hours from Mumbai to Nagpur and surely this will further cut down to 7 hours once the remaining stretch is thrown open. Reduction in travel time is more than 50%.

> Like everyone here, I love tarmac too, but the cement surface is comfortably smoother, much better than cement roads of Mumbai.

> Toll amount - Rs. 900/- each side

> Will conclude by saying that Maharashtra had created history in 2002 by building India's first Expressway i.e Mumbai--Pune Expressway which truly was a major breakthrough. 20 years later in 2022, Maharashtra has recreated history by building India's first longest and most advanced Expressway -Samruddhi Mahamarg !!



6.Sharing some pics from my drive


Hindu Hrudayasamrat Balasaheb Thackeray Maharashtra Samruddhi Mahamarg aka Mumbai--Nagpur Super Communication Expressway --> You don't drive here, you just glide


At Shirdi Interchange toll plaza, beginning of Samruddhi Mahamarg
Samruddhi Mahamarg: 701 km super expressway will connect Nagpur to Mumbai-img_20230107_193127.jpg




Stunning road at night

Samruddhi Mahamarg: 701 km super expressway will connect Nagpur to Mumbai-screenshot_20230107192341299edit_com.miui.gallery.jpg














Daytime pics


Samruddhi Mahamarg: 701 km super expressway will connect Nagpur to Mumbai-img_20230104_073105.jpg

Samruddhi Mahamarg: 701 km super expressway will connect Nagpur to Mumbai-img_20230104_073124.jpg


Samruddhi Mahamarg: 701 km super expressway will connect Nagpur to Mumbai-img_20230104_143321.jpg

Samruddhi Mahamarg: 701 km super expressway will connect Nagpur to Mumbai-img_20230105_215729.jpg


Does ME-2 mean Maharashtra Expressway -2 ?
Samruddhi Mahamarg: 701 km super expressway will connect Nagpur to Mumbai-screenshot_20230107192731570edit_com.miui.gallery.jpg



Samruddhi Mahamarg: 701 km super expressway will connect Nagpur to Mumbai-img_20230104_073556.jpg

Samruddhi Mahamarg: 701 km super expressway will connect Nagpur to Mumbai-img_20230104_110102.jpg

Samruddhi Mahamarg: 701 km super expressway will connect Nagpur to Mumbai-img_20230104_110115.jpg

Samruddhi Mahamarg: 701 km super expressway will connect Nagpur to Mumbai-img_20230104_120517.jpg

Samruddhi Mahamarg: 701 km super expressway will connect Nagpur to Mumbai-img_20230104_121406.jpg


Samruddhi Mahamarg: 701 km super expressway will connect Nagpur to Mumbai-img_20230105_215643.jpg

Samruddhi Mahamarg: 701 km super expressway will connect Nagpur to Mumbai-img_20230105_215240.jpg

The only diversion at present
Samruddhi Mahamarg: 701 km super expressway will connect Nagpur to Mumbai-img_20230104_112211.jpg

Samruddhi Mahamarg: 701 km super expressway will connect Nagpur to Mumbai-img_20230104_112410.jpg



I drove 1576.3 kms in 22.5 hours during this round trip and thus ended mine and my Polo's madness !!

Regards

Last edited by vivek95 : 7th January 2023 at 22:17. Reason: Spell check
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Old 8th January 2023, 12:35   #152
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Re: Samruddhi Mahamarg: 701 km super expressway will connect Nagpur to Mumbai

Excellent mini-travelogue, thank you!

We in south India can only dream of these for now, being an easy 2-3 years behind such expressways. The Bangalore - Mysore Expressway although opening in February will get swamped pretty quickly like the Mumbai - Pune one.

My hope lies in the Bangalore - Chennai Expressway which should be less crowded due to the existing highway via Hosur.
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Old 8th January 2023, 20:37   #153
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Re: Samruddhi Mahamarg: 701 km super expressway will connect Nagpur to Mumbai

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Originally Posted by vivek95 View Post
.

Regards

Sharing one of my videos from the night drive the other day.


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Originally Posted by itwasntme View Post
Excellent mini-travelogue, thank you!

We in south India can only dream of these for now, being an easy 2-3 years behind such expressways. The Bangalore - Mysore Expressway although opening in February will get swamped pretty quickly like the Mumbai - Pune one.

My hope lies in the Bangalore - Chennai Expressway which should be less crowded due to the existing highway via Hosur.
Thank you so much

I understand Bangalore--Chennai Expressway is a greenfiled project, what about Bangalore--Mysore -- is that a "true" expressway , I mean access controlled Or just widened to 8 lanes ?? Mumbai-- Nasik for strange reasons is also termed as Expressway, but in reality its just a chaotic 4/6 lane highway, although very scenic.
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Old 9th January 2023, 15:22   #154
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Re: Samruddhi Mahamarg: 701 km super expressway will connect Nagpur to Mumbai

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-- I don't foresee traffic to increase here even after the remaining stretch till Mumbai opens up, in the sense that it will nowhere be close to what madness we regularly see on Mumbai--Pune expressway (MPEW) for obvious reasons as the latter connects two bustling metros, industrial hubs, scenic spots all in a short distance of 93 kms.
I agree with you, there simply is not enough traffic demand on this route. Infrastructure is expensive anywhere. We seem to be throwing money on white elephant infra which will not be able to pay itself off with tolls.

Surely, 6 lanes is excessive for now. If only MSRDC had done their due diligence on traffic projection. I hope this doesn't end up like the ghost cities of China, which were built in anticipation of people moving in.

I hope people start using this marvelous expressway. At least for the sake of the many infra companies who would now be saddled with long term leases on this and a long time before they recover the cost, forget about making a profit.
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Old 9th January 2023, 17:30   #155
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Re: Samruddhi Mahamarg: 701 km super expressway will connect Nagpur to Mumbai

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Originally Posted by dust-n-bones View Post
I agree with you, there simply is not enough traffic demand on this route. Infrastructure is expensive anywhere. We seem to be throwing money on white elephant infra which will not be able to pay itself off with tolls.
I would say we should built for the future rather than build for the past. All the major congestions in India is caused because roads are only built after a demand is there. In this case though, we seems to be building for the future which is great.
One should not forget that infrastructure like these can be a catalyst for a lot more economical activities. A long expressway with one end in the the countries financial capital will always lead to lot more economical activity being spread out the region along the road. So as far as I think Itís never about connecting Mumbai to Nagpur, but giving fast access to Mumbai to the hinterlands
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Old 9th January 2023, 18:47   #156
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Re: Samruddhi Mahamarg: 701 km super expressway will connect Nagpur to Mumbai

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Surely, 6 lanes is excessive for now. If only MSRDC had done their due diligence on traffic projection. I hope this doesn't end up like the ghost cities of China, which were built in anticipation of people moving in.
On the contrary, I think, it's an excellent and futuristic planning by MSRDC. For first time in India, an highway has been planned with 20-25 years foresight. I can see that it provides an excellent opportunity for Aurangabad to come in same league as Nashik/Pune as far as proximity to Mumbai is concerned. Plus this highway makes the hinterland, not only in MH but in MP/Chattisgadh as well, very attractive to manufacturing units.

The current state which India is right now, any thing we plan is going to be overwhelmed in few years due to rising population. Remember driving down on Sion-Panvel/Mumbai-Pune Highway 10 years ago with only few cars in sight after crossing Vashi Toll Naka. Now its chock a block till entrance of the highway.
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Old 9th January 2023, 19:21   #157
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Re: Samruddhi Mahamarg: 701 km super expressway will connect Nagpur to Mumbai

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I would say we should built for the future rather than build for the past. All the major congestions in India is caused because roads are only built after a demand is there. In this case though, we seems to be building for the future which is great.
One should not forget that infrastructure like these can be a catalyst for a lot more economical activities. A long expressway with one end in the the countries financial capital will always lead to lot more economical activity being spread out the region along the road. So as far as I think Itís never about connecting Mumbai to Nagpur, but giving fast access to Mumbai to the hinterlands
I agree, the points you cited would surely be in the project report.

There are more pragmatic ways to give access to hinterlands. Spurs on existing highways is one such way. If a greenfield 'expressway' is really needed, may be to build 4 lanes for now, and provision for 6 for later.

If we start building without sound financial feasibility, loans we take for them will eventually become unpayable, with the result that future projects (even sound ones) will become prohibitive to finance. Maintenance will stall if toll receipts can't fund it. Not to mention infra companies going bankrupt.

Surely a situation no-one would want to be in.
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Old 9th January 2023, 22:00   #158
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Re: Samruddhi Mahamarg: 701 km super expressway will connect Nagpur to Mumbai

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I agree, the points you cited would surely be in the project report.

There are more pragmatic ways to give access to hinterlands. Spurs on existing highways is one such way. If a greenfield 'expressway' is really needed, may be to build 4 lanes for now, and provision for 6 for later.

If we start building without sound financial feasibility, loans we take for them will eventually become unpayable, with the result that future projects (even sound ones) will become prohibitive to finance. Maintenance will stall if toll receipts can't fund it. Not to mention infra companies going bankrupt.

Surely a situation no-one would want to be in.
A spur route is simply a branch from a major road (read express ways) that let people exit and enter a town nearby. Iím not sure how that can replace the expressway itself.

And regarding the finance, Iím sure the toll projection and financial viability reports are surely in the project report.
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Old 10th January 2023, 01:10   #159
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Excellent mini-travelogue, thank you!

We in south India can only dream of these for now, being an easy 2-3 years behind such expressways. The Bangalore - Mysore Expressway although opening in February will get swamped pretty quickly like the Mumbai - Pune one.

My hope lies in the Bangalore - Chennai Expressway which should be less crowded due to the existing highway via Hosur.

True, they say that the Chennai Bengaluru e-way will be ready by 2025 though.

That being said the Nice road to Hubbali is not e-way grade but an absolute pleasure to drive. I just did a night drive on that stretch and covered 400 kms in 4 hrs, just ...sheer driving pleasure.

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Originally Posted by dust-n-bones View Post
I agree with you, there simply is not enough traffic demand on this route. Infrastructure is expensive anywhere. We seem to be throwing money on white elephant infra which will not be able to pay itself off with tolls.

Surely, 6 lanes is excessive for now. If only MSRDC had done their due diligence on traffic projection. I hope this doesn't end up like the ghost cities of China, which were built in anticipation of people moving in.

I hope people start using this marvelous expressway. At least for the sake of the many infra companies who would now be saddled with long term leases on this and a long time before they recover the cost, forget about making a profit.
Infra is in general built with projections of decades in advance. It might be empty now, but will it be empty in 2030? 2035? Who knows what kind of development of semi urban cities will now take place along this route. If you can live say 10kms away, it is a 1.5 hour drive to get to Bhiwandi. Even 50 kms from Bhiwandi, which now is a min 1-2 hr drive (based on traffic) can be done in less than 30 mins.

Our problem has always been building infra when it was too late and then planning for the "now". Take the Metro networks in most Metro cities, they were all due decades ago (Mumbai metro was first proposed in the 70's), but the logic then was "the costs don't justify the return ergo let's kick it down the road".

So the likes of NMIA or the Noida airport all are being built on a gargantuan scale but based on traffic and needs not today but in 2035!

To your point about funding and inability to pay for infra, data as we know it simply doesn't support this theory. Here's a fun fact, the Revenue expenditure Maharashtra alone is equal to the total central govt Revenue expenditure in 04. Yes that's right major states (TN is at 02, Guj at 99 etc) have now access to funding that was the total of the Union budget. These costs are ammortised over decades and assume this project is ammortised over 15 years, by 2032-35 Maharashtra by itself will be a trillion dollar economy and these costs will be a fraction of the budget.

Last edited by ampere : 12th January 2023 at 08:31. Reason: Back to back posts merged
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Old 10th January 2023, 09:02   #160
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Re: Samruddhi Mahamarg: 701 km super expressway will connect Nagpur to Mumbai

The traffic is minimal now because of the start point. It will ramp up once it gets connected to NH60 at Sinnar and further once it gets connected to Bombay.

With the East-West corridor being non-existent, this would serve as a quicker Bombay-Calcutta connectivity.

For that matter a good East-West connectivity within MH itself did not exist until now.

I've been travelling NH52 ever since the Solapur-Tuljapur 4-laning was inaugurated in December 2017. There has been a steady increase in traffic since 2019 when it was mostly done. Trucks that were once taking Tembhurni-Karmala-Nagar-Malegaon are seeing value in taking this route.

It might take time for a similar realization to happen for Samruddhi. Its just 30 days since inauguration and too early to analyze.
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Old 10th January 2023, 11:52   #161
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Re: Samruddhi Mahamarg: 701 km super expressway will connect Nagpur to Mumbai

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Our problem has always been building infra when it was too late and then planning for the "now". Take the Metro networks in most Metro cities, they were all due decades ago (Mumbai metro was first proposed in the 70's), but the logic then was "the costs don't justify the return ergo let's kick it down the road".
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So the likes of NMIA or the Noida airport all are being built on a gargantuan scale but based on traffic and needs not today but in 2035!
All these project don't need fancy projections. As you point out, they were required to meet demand from decades ago. Such projects were kicked down the road not because of financing, but maybe because of this.



Please don't get me wrong. I agree with all the points being raised about connecting hinterland to ports, for building for the future, spreading urbanization etc. I only want to caution on the solution given here - a green-field 6 lane expressway with an uncertain revenue stream.

I had searched for the project report earlier, could not find it on either MSRDC or project website. I am trying to see an 'alternatives analysis'. For example:
  • BharatMala project of the central government is creating a Mumbai-Kolkata 'Economic Corridor', which will cover Mumbai - Nagpur as well. Why not use it instead? Or collaborate with it to align it based on your growth projections? Or create your own spurs? Here is a good introduction and the mind-boggling list of infra Bharatmala is supposed to create. And a map:
    Samruddhi Mahamarg: 701 km super expressway will connect Nagpur to Mumbai-bharatmalaprojects.jpg.
    Reference.
  • Similarly, there is a Surat - Nagpur - Chennai corridor planned. Why not piggyback on it?
  • If there is still feasibility for a separate expressway, why not make it in phases - 2+2 lanes to begin with?
  • A more 'normal' solution would have been to strengthen/widen the existing highways, create bye-passes and ring roads in urban centers. Like what @narayans80 pointed above for Solapur-Tuljapur. This would inherit the existing traffic, and be more viable.
  • The regions this expressway touches are severely water deficient, and its going to get worse as the climate warms. Was a water conservation/irrigation project considered instead? Remember, this is a requirement now, not a 20 year projection. Would such an investment not create similar/more industrial investment opportunity in this region?
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Old 12th January 2023, 06:18   #162
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Re: Samruddhi Mahamarg: 701 km super expressway will connect Nagpur to Mumbai

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All these project don't need fancy projections. As you point out, they were required to meet demand from decades ago. Such projects were kicked down the road not because of financing, but maybe because of this.
Building infra is not a zero sum game.

You can build both eways, toilets, metros and invest in water conservation. Please look up the Maharashtra Jalayukt Shivar scheme, a multi billion dollar scheme on water conservation.

Last edited by ampere : 12th January 2023 at 08:33. Reason: Trimmed quoted post
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Old 12th January 2023, 08:14   #163
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Re: Samruddhi Mahamarg: 701 km super expressway will connect Nagpur to Mumbai

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Originally Posted by dust-n-bones View Post
.
I hope people start using this marvelous expressway. At least for the sake of the many infra companies who would now be saddled with long term leases on this and a long time before they recover the cost, forget about making a profit.
Think long term - such a fast highway will promote industries in interior Maharashtra where land might be cheaper compared to the other major cities inside Maharashtra. Lining up a few SEZs along the highway is enough to get the traffic up and going. With faster connectivity, it's attractive for companies to create a plant/factory along that road which can quickly ship items out and get in raw materials quickly.

A good example is the current Chennai Bangalore highway - when the 4 lane work was completed around 2008, I distinctly remember zero traffic after 20 kms from home. Today, there are industries and stuff lining up to a distance of 60 kms plus from Chennai. Also, all major towns along the highway have grown like never before. The same can be said across all the other major highways in the South. I must say that promoting such industries along with these projects truly helped.

Constructing faster highways along with other schemes promotes economic growth. It's better than causing people to migrate to a handful of cities and making them a living hell.
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Old 16th January 2023, 18:12   #164
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Re: Samruddhi Mahamarg: 701 km super expressway will connect Nagpur to Mumbai

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I too can't wait to drive there. Eagerly waiting for this road to open up.

Both I and my car are eagerly waiting for this drive. :-)
Quoting myself above just to highlight how eager I was to drive on this highway. And very happy to say that I did this drive last week, and absolutely enjoyed it.

I had to go to Aurangabad for work last week. Normally, one would drive straight from Bangalore to Aurangabad, which is a very good and fast road now (all six-lane and four-lane highways throughout!). However, I made a plan that only a TeamBHPian with a "Live to Drive" attitude will understand. I decided to drive from Bangalore to Nagpur, and then from Nagpur to Aurangabad, so that I get to drive on this Samruddhi Mahamarg!

This was a solo drive (since I was primarily driving to attend some work meetings). On the previous day, I did the long solo drive from Bangalore to Nagpur. It was exactly 1100km from my home in Bangalore to my hotel in Nagpur. It was a nice and fun drive. However, I was eagerly waiting for the next day, when I would drive on Samruddhi Mahamarg.

Next morning, I had a nice breakfast at my hotel, refueled the car to make sure I do not need fuel soon, and then started this much awaited drive at 9AM.

Refueling at Nagpur before entering Samruddhi Mahamarg (on such long highway drives, my 320d was giving a range of about 1000km, so this was not really a worry as such):
Samruddhi Mahamarg: 701 km super expressway will connect Nagpur to Mumbai-20230108_084954.jpg

Once I entered the Samruddhi Mahamarg, the first 50km or so the road surface was quite rough. The road noise was a bit annoying, but nevertheless, I did enjoy driving on such beautifully designed road. Luckily, after about 50km or so from Nagpur, the road surface improved a lot (or maybe I just got used to it ) and I absolutely enjoyed my drive on this beautiful road.

The speed limit of 120km/h was great to have, and at that speed, I was covering the distance in no time. The road is really very well built. I did not want to stop on the side of the road (which is not recommended anyways) to take pictures, but managed a few shots from the phone attached to my windscreen. Here are some windscreen shots.

Beautiful road:
Samruddhi Mahamarg: 701 km super expressway will connect Nagpur to Mumbai-20230108_122342.jpg


You have visibility of upto a mile (so to speak), and with nice smooth tarmac, and speed limit of 120 km/h, progress is fast:
Samruddhi Mahamarg: 701 km super expressway will connect Nagpur to Mumbai-20230108_121056.jpg

I continued enjoying this drive, although it quickly gets repetitive and might be a bit boring too:
Samruddhi Mahamarg: 701 km super expressway will connect Nagpur to Mumbai-20230108_122847.jpg

Although stopping on the side of the road is not recommended, I found a significantly wide shoulder at one point, and could safely park the car away from the driving lanes for a quick photo. There was hardly any traffic, and I parked there barely for a minute for a couple of quick photos. But otherwise, I would not recommend stopping on this road at all as a safety measure, unless it is an emergency.

My car on the latest and the greatest road in India:
Samruddhi Mahamarg: 701 km super expressway will connect Nagpur to Mumbai-20230108_095906.jpg



Samruddhi Mahamarg: 701 km super expressway will connect Nagpur to Mumbai-20230108_100350.jpg



Samruddhi Mahamarg: 701 km super expressway will connect Nagpur to Mumbai-20230108_100502.jpg

I thoroughly enjoyed the drive and reached Aurangabad from Nagpur in a time that would have been unthinkable just a year ago!

A short summary of my experience and observations:
  1. The road is fast, but one must follow all precautions and safety. It is critical to make sure your tyres are in right conditions, of the right speed rating, and properly inflated.
  2. Although it is best to start with full fuel, there are fuel stations along the way, so it is not a big deal. However, exiting the highway and breaking the driving rhythm for fuel would still be annoying.
  3. For the above reason, best to do this drive non-stop without any fueling on the way or any other stops. One can cover this distance in ridiculously quick time and the driving rhythm is something you can never experience on any other road in India. Best to enjoy that!
  4. The road is as good as any I have seen in the western world! The exit signs, the exits roads and interchanges, the lane markings, everything is absolutely state of the art as as good as the best in the world!
  5. The road surface itself is not that great. Being a cement road, and that too not necessarily very well finished at some sections, it does feel a bit bumpy and noisy. The first 50km or so from Nagpur are quite rough. My ride reminded me of a bumpy aircraft ride during turbulence.
  6. Thankfully, there was no traffic. I passed around one vehicle approximately every km or so. Thankfully, the slow trucks were sticking to the slow lane (left most lane) and passing them while driving on the middle lane was a breeze.
  7. I had heard a lot about animals on this road, and was extremely watchful for animals. Luckily for me, I did not face any problems at all. I did see a couple of dogs and a couple of monkeys here and there, but that is nothing worrisome or unique to this road. In fact, there are many more dogs in the Bangalore-Hyderabad road, and I know of many accidents happened there due to dog hits. Same is the case with Bangalore-Chennai road, where not just the dogs but even cows pose a much more serious threat. In comparison, I did not think Samruddhi Mahamarg is any worse at all.
  8. Although everything is nice, such long, straight drive without traffic can be a bit boring and even can cause what is known as "Highway hypnosis", and it can be dangerous. I made sure I listened to my favorite music at a relatively louder level than my usual preference just to make sure I do not get zoned out. In the end, I enjoyed both the music and the drive :-)
I am sure to go back there soon and do more drives in that part of the country now!

Last edited by Dr.AD : 16th January 2023 at 18:14.
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Old 16th January 2023, 21:09   #165
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Re: Samruddhi Mahamarg: 701 km super expressway will connect Nagpur to Mumbai

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr.AD View Post
I made a plan that only a TeamBHPian with a "Live to Drive" attitude will understand. I decided to drive from Bangalore to Nagpur, and then from Nagpur to Aurangabad, so that I get to drive on this Samruddhi Mahamarg!
--
On the previous day, I did the long solo drive from Bangalore to Nagpur. It was exactly 1100km from my home in Bangalore to my hotel in Nagpur. It was a nice and fun drive. However, I was eagerly waiting for the next day, when I would drive on Samruddhi Mahamarg.

Next morning, I had a nice breakfast at my hotel, refueled the car to make sure I do not need fuel soon, and then started this much awaited drive at 9AM.
So you drove from Bangalore to Nagpur for 1100 km on a day, to experience what 450 km of Nagpur to Aurangabad feels like on the Samruddhi expressway the next day
(the forum doesn't permit more than 2 per post)

How I wish I was there in that passenger seat, right from B'lore that is!

Quote:
You have visibility of upto a mile (so to speak), and with nice smooth tarmac, and speed limit of 120 km/h, progress is fast:
..and this to me is the el classico highlight of your drive.
I am longing to write this after my own drive, someday.

Quote:
such long, straight drive without traffic can be a bit boring and even can cause what is known as "Highway hypnosis", and it can be dangerous.
Thanks for pointing out.
Indeed, that can be dangerous. And it has proved to be the bete noire of many a good traveller.

Quote:
I made sure I listened to my favorite music at a relatively louder level than my usual preference just to make sure I do not get zoned out. In the end, I enjoyed both the music and the drive :-)..
On long roads like these, music is meditation. One is at peace in the company of good music.
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