Dausa (Rajasthan): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday inaugurated the first phase of the ambitious, 1,400-km Delhi-Mumbai expressway in Rajasthan’s Dausa. The 246-kilometre stretch of Delhi-Dausa-Lalsot is expected to cut down travel time from Delhi to Jaipur to around three and a half hours than the existing duration of five hours.
“Studies show investment on infrastructure brings in further investments,” the PM said, addressing a public gathering in Dausa’s Dhanawar village, in eastern Rajasthan. He pressed the button of a remote to mark the inauguration. “Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas is our mantra for nation, we are making Samarth Bharat while following it,” said Modi, adding that the expressway is a magnificent picture of developing India.
Union road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari, his deputy V K Singh, Union minister Gajendra Singh, and other leaders were present on the stage at the function. CMs of Rajasthan and Haryana Ashok Gehlot and Manohar Lal Khattar addressed the event through virtual mode. While Gehlot joined the programme from Jaipur, Khattar addressed it from a function held in Nuh district.
The first leg of India’s longest expressway, being built in eight-lane, opened to the public right ahead of a hectic election year. The grand expressway promises to bring down travel time from the national capital to its financial hub, Mumbai, by half, to just 12 hours. Officials said that it’s being constructed at the cost of over ₹1 lakh crore and can be expanded in 12 lanes.
The ambitious project, which aims to connect five key states of India, from Gujarat to Maharashtra, is envisioned as an engineering marvel. The expressway also have wayside amenities like charging stations for EVs, helipads, trauma centres, and dedicated lanes for electric vehicles, it is also Asia’s first highway to have animal overpasses and wildlife crossings. There are also SoS stations at every two kilometres for providing medical assistance to travellers in case of emergencies.
The opening of the Sohna-Dausa stretch will connect Haryana’s Gurugram, Sohna, Nooh, Mewat, and Rajasthan’s Alwar, and Dausa, to the mega expressway. The Delhi-Dausa stretch has eight entry and exit points. As the vehicles are allowed the max speed of 120 kmph, officials of MoRTH said, the highway can save nearly 300 million litres of fuel and 800 million kilograms of Co2 emissions every year.
The entire highway has automatic toll booths, and the toll tax will be deducted only once—it will be calculated from the moment one enters the highway to the time they exit. The toll tax for the 220-km-long Delhi-Jaipur journey is ₹ 70 rupees, which comes to 35 paise per kilometre.