- Delhi-Katra current distance by road is 727 km, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari says it will be reduced to 572 km
- The new expressway will be launched in 2 years and devotees will be able to travel to Katra in 6 hours
- Expressway will also connect some major Sikh shrines
The Union Transport Minister assured that the Delhi-Amritsar-Katra expressway will be launched in two years from now, on Thursday. The minister said that the expressway will be able to reduce the distance between the two cities from 727 km to just 572 km.
Nitin Gadkari claims that the travellers would reach Katra in just six hours using the expressway.
The megaproject will promote religious tourism as the road will connect two important holy cities —Katra-Vaishno Devi and Amritsar — before it reaches the national capital, Delhi.
The expressway will also connect to some important Sikh shrines at Dera Baba Nanak, Goindwal Sahib, Khadoor Sahib and Tarn Taran.
Separately, the Union Transport Minister will review the progress of the Delhi-Mumbai Expressway (DME) on the 16th-17th of September.
The DME expressway would be 1,380 km long and is said to be the longest expressway in India.
The Delhi-Mumbai Expressway will connect the urban centres of Delhi via the Delhi-Faridabad-Sohna section of the corridor along with a spur to Jewar Airport and Jawaharlal Nehru Port to Mumbai through a spur in Mumbai.
This new expressway is expected to almost halve the travel time between Delhi and Mumbai from the existing 24 hours to 12 hours and also reduce the travel distance by 130 km.
Gadkari had said, “I am happy that it’s the world’s largest expressway and a matter of pride for our country…With this Delhi-Mumbai expressway, we will be able to reach Mumbai in about 12.5 hours”.
The Delhi-Mumbai Expressway began in 2018 while the foundation stone was laid down on the 9th of March 2019. This week, Gadkari called roads and highway projects “gold mine” and invited the US investors to invest in the sector.
While addressing the Indo US Economic Summit, Gadkari said, “I will request you particularly for insurance, pension funds. They have really a tremendous opportunity for investment in road infrastructure in India.
“The toll income, which is ₹40,000 crore per year, is expected to shoot up to ₹1.4 lakh crore annually in the next three years”.
In the Union Budget of 2021, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways was allocated ₹ 1,18,101 crore out of which ₹ 1,08,230 crore was for capital expenditure.