Mumbai: The choked Mumbai-Goa highway will soon get a breather with the National Highway Authority of India planning to expand the existing two-lane stretch from Panvel to Indapur into a four-lane road.
The project will cost the government Rs 556 crore and work will start this year, public works minister Chhagan Bhujbal said on Tuesday.
Alarmed at the rising number of accidents on this stretch, the state government decided to expand the entire 475-km stretch.
The NH 17 is the only road that connects the Konkan to Mumbai and sees a heavy traffic of passenger and commercial vehicles every day.
Sharp twists and turns along the picturesque NH-17 have led to many accidents. In 2009, the road saw 1,672 accidents, in which 323 people died and 1,200 were injured.
“The state had already started work on a 21-km stretch of road between Zarap and Patradevi which will be completed by December 2011,” Bhujbal said.
The remaining work is divided into four parts from Indapur to Kasheli Ghat (77 km), Kasheli Ghat to Sangameshwar (99 km), Sangameshwar to Takewadi (107 km) and Takewadi to Zarap (83 km).
Bhujbal said the proposal to expand these stretches had been sent to the Centre and clearances for the project were awaited.