In a major boost to Chennai’s road connectivity, the central government has approved a ₹50,000-crore expressway project for developing faster connectivity between Tamil Nadu’s capital and Gujarat’s Surat. The project will cut down travel time between Chennai and Surat by six hours and distance by 330 km, enabling drivers to avoid congested roads running around Bangalore, Pune and Mumbai.
The Expressway project will also provide an onward option for North India too with a link to the Delhi-Mumbai expressway at Surat. Therefore, goods destined for places like Jaipur, Delhi, Chandigarh and Jammu can be transported using the proposed expressway. Similarly, goods from northern and western part of India can be transported faster to Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka. Nitin Gadkari, Union Road Transport and Highways Minister, the expressway project will provide better connectivity between many cities. The proposed expressway is part of the larger vision for faster connectivity between cities.
Apart from saving time by cutting down on distance, the proposed project is also expected to enable reduction in fuel consumption for road transporters plying between Chennai and Surat, or cities on the way. Starting from Chennai, 156 km of connectivity is planned within Tamil Nadu, running along the Moolakadai-Nallur-Tiruvallur route. As much as 320 km of the project runs through Andhra Pradesh on the Tirupathi-Kadappa-Kurnool route. Telangana accounts for 65km of the project, running around the Gawal area. A bulk of the route runs through Maharashtra with 483km while Karnataka comes next with 176km. Many of the roads that are part of the project are national highways that will now get upgraded while some of the sectors are ‘greenfield’ in nature.