Central funds delay Goa-Mumbai NH 17

PTI, MUMBAI | 03 April 2012 21:47 IST

Quadrupling of lanes on the Mumbai -Goa National Highway No 17 was being delayed due to lack of funds from the Centre, Maharashtra Assembly was told today.

PWD Minister Chhagan Bhujbal said the Rs 950-crore first phase of quadrupling work was on.

The total project cost is estimated to be Rs 3,500 crore. The first phase included Panvel-Indapur, Indapur-Zarap and Zarap-Patradevi stretches.

Members cutting across party lines complained about slow pace of upgradation work on the busy, accident-prone highway, which passes through the coastal Konkan region.

They said 1,165 persons had lost their lives in accidents in the last six years on the highway which they described as a "death trap".

Bhujbal said the accidents take place mostly due to the drivers losing control over their vehicles, over-speeding, wrong overtaking and violation of other rules.

Four-laning of the nearly 600km highway will help in overcoming these hurdles, he said.

"However, one must remember that the National Highway comes under the jurisdiction of the Central Government and depends on Central funds for upgradation or repairs."

The Minister rued that repeated requests with the Union Surface Transport Ministry to expedite the work have not yielded desired results.

Bhujbal said the work on the project, sanctioned on BOT (build, operate, transfer) basis, started four years ago. He said a trauma centre on the highway is being constructed to provide swift medical assistance to accident victims.

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