Union minister for road transport and highways Nitin Gadkari with an aim of lowering container traffic on the Pune-Mumbai expressway, has proposed a railway line connecting to JNPT (Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust).
Gadkari during a media brief in Pune said, “When I had the water ministry, I proposed the railway connectivity. Now, the state government must follow up the proposal.”
“The Pune-Mumbai expressway sees a lot of container traffic. Most of these vehicles are going to JNPT port. If a dedicated metro line is built, instead of road, all the container movement will get shifted on railway,” the minister said.
The minister appealed the Maharashtra government to prepare a detailed project report (DPR) for it and submit it to the railway ministry.
Present at the media briefing, Maharashtra Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Chandrakant Patil assured the union minister that the state government will follow up the issue and discuss it at the cabinet.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, a senior officer from National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) informed that the green field highway from Surat to Bengaluru is coming up. If the railway connectivity would get container movement from north and south, it will come till logistics parks and later, it can go by railway,”he said.
NHAI officials said, “Containers are disturbing normal traffic on E-way. Instead of using the left slow lane, most of the vehicles run on the last lane which is made only for overtaking. Even they are driving on the middle lane. As heavy vehicles use the speed lanes, other vehicles try to overtake and accidents could happen.”