The railway ministry is keen to build a new rail corridor along the upcoming greenfield Delhi-Mumbai expressway. Sources said railway minister Piyush Goyal made this proposal at a meeting of a group of infrastructure ministers which met under the chairmanship of highways minister Nitin Gadkari earlier this week.
They added, Goyal suggested that building the railway line would be cost-effective as they won’t need to acquire any fresh land for this railway corridor. Land acquisition is a cumbersome exercise. There was also an opinion that railways can weigh the option of building an elevated rail corridor on this stretch.
The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) is acquiring land with 100 metres right of way (RoW) to build the expressway that will connect DND Flyway in Delhi with Jawaharlal Nehru Port in Mumbai and will pass through some of the backward districts. It is learnt that Gadkari has offered to provide a share of NHAI land without any cost to railways to lay the new tracks.
Officials said that railways have nominated two names for a panel which will look into the proposal and will come up with the plan. For long, there have been discussions whether the new expressway can be developed as a railroad corridor to promote multi-modal transport on this trunk route. Gadkari has announced to make the 1,320 km expressway operational within the next three years.
Once completed, this is likely to be the preferred road for cargo vehicles as it will be seamless and there will be no slow-moving traffic. With 100 kmph notified speed limit, heavy vehicles can cover the stretch in 13-14 hours without any break.