Three years from now, you will be able to drive from Delhi to Mumbai in 12 hours with the construction of a new highway that will cut the travel distance on the route by 280 km, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said on Thursday. "We are building a highway worth Rs 1,03,000 crore between Delhi and Mumbai. I assure you that within three years from now, you will be able to drive to Mumbai from Delhi in your car and reach there within 12 hours," the Minister for Road Transport & Highways and MSMEs said.
He said the land acquisition for the highway has been completed and 32 contracts out of 60 have already been awarded.
"The highway starts from Sohna near Gurugram and will cut the travel distance between Delhi and Mumbai by 280 km," Gadkari said at a conference of Assocham.
The minister also said Rs 16,000 crore have been saved on land acquisition for the project, owing to the highway passing through socially and economically backward tribal areas of five states, including Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Haryana.
"Had we taken the alignment of Delhi-Ahmedabad-Surat-Vadodara-Mumbai, the land acquisition cost would have come to Rs 6 crore per acre, but now, this cost has come to Rs 80 lakh per acre," Gadkari said.
Besides, on the 59-minute-loan scheme for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) launched earlier, the minister said a review of the loan disbursement record by banks shows that several loans have been sanctioned but have not been disbursed by lenders, owing to conditions not being fulfilled.
He said a scheme has been prepared whereby Rs 10,000 crore have been earmarked under a fund of funds and the Centre will fund 10 per cent equity of an MSME coming forward to enter the capital market.
"Our target is to raise the contribution of the MSME sector in the country's growth to 50 per cent in the next 5 years so that we can achieve our target of making India a USD 5-trillion economy," Gadkari said.
The minister said it has also been decided to raise the MSME sector's contribution to India's exports to 60 per cent and create five crore new jobs.