NHAI set to launch ‘Integrated Multimodal Transport Hub (IMTH)’ in Ajni, Nagpur

The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) in place of the previously proposed Inter-Modal Station (IMS) has envisaged a new project ‘Integrated Multimodal Transport Hub (IMTH)’ in Ajni (Nagpur).

Scrapped in 2022, after facing opposition from environmentalists concerned about the possible felling of nearly 40,000 trees for the development, the IMS at Ajni in Nagpur is a state-of-the-art facility which has integration of several transport modes such as road, rail and metro — with a handling capacity of more than 3 lakh passengers per day.

Following earlier reports, Union minister Nitin Gadkari had said that only Ajni Railway Station would be developed, as planned under the IMS.

More or less on the same lines of IMS, the new project has its location slightly altered to avoid the dense patch of trees for which environmentalists were opposing the project. Providing connectivity for passenger, the IMTH would have bus, train and metro terminals at one place.

During a review meeting in Mumbai with the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Eknath Shinde, and Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari has asked NHAI to ready a proposal regarding construction of a public transport terminal facility for passengers at Ajni and submit it to the Maharashtra government. The review meeting has discussion centered on infrastructure projects such as roads and bridges in the state.

Overseen by the National Highways Logistics Management Limited (NHLML)-a special purpose vehicle (SPV) wholly owned by NHAI, the new project will be developed on land including the Central Jail, Food Corporation of India (FCI) godowns, Irrigation Colony, Railway Quarters, and other surrounding areas.

NHAI’s decision to locate the hub in Ajni has been defended by sources who maintain that there is no better centralised location for this project, which will ultimately benefit citizens.

The meeting in Mumbai also included a review of multi-modal logistics parks in Jalna, Nagpur, Mumbai and Nashik. It was also decided to expand the existing highways like one passing through Bellampalli, Gadchiroli and Durg, for which environmental clearance was sought.

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