The under-construction National Highway (NH) 66, aka Mumbai-Goa Highway, has finally reached its last leg of completion after a decade. The four-lane highway has been making a buzz w.r.t residential real estate expansion across Maharashtra and Goa after the newly announced completion date.

Mumbai-Goa Highway is a 471 km-long project in western India that has been delayed by approximately 10 years. The four-lane highway will connect Panvel in Mumbai to Pollem in South Goa to provide more ease to the commuters. The project commenced in 2011 and is expected to end by May 2023, as per the recent update by the Central Government.

The delay

From delayed forestland acquisition to compensation issues besieging the acquired land, numerous reasons mired the timely completion of the Mumbai-Goa Highway. Nonetheless, as per the recent revelation from the Public Works Department, the project is in its last stage of completion. About 67 percent of the stretch is complete, while work in the remaining part is in full swing.

The project includes widening the existing highway into a four-lane road that will pass through Raigad, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg. For over a decade, several contractors have been replaced to expedite the entire project and meet the deadline.

The benefits

The Mumbai-Goa highway project is expected to reduce the travel time between Mumbai and Goa to six hours. The key benefits of the project include creating a safer route for the commuters by reducing accidents and boosting tourism in the western coastal cities and States of India.

Since the project’s inception, the highway has witnessed many incidents and controversies. The majority of debates were related to the quality of the road. However, some also involved forest land acquisition, toll taxes and traffic jams.

The Maharashtra High Court has been actively involved in monitoring the project. It has periodically intervened to address concerns raised by political parties, public interest litigations (PIL), and incidents due to bad road quality and construction.