The Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) will be approaching the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to obtain no objection certificate (NOC) considering the heritage locations are located close to the proposed Mumbai Nagpur Expressway.
The Union Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) has asked the MSRDC to obtain NOC from the ASI as the proposed Expressway is planned in the 7-km radius of some famous heritage locations like Bibi Ka Maqbara, Aurangabad Caves, and Daulatabad Fort.
Kiran Kurundkar, joint managing director, MSRDC, said, “We are going to approach the ASI to seek its NOC as per the MoEF’s directions.”
Recently, the MoEF while giving environment clearance had said that MSRDC should seek clearance from ASI and also the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) to provide locations of animal crossing and suggest safety measure for the presence of wildlife corridor crossings.
“We have already passed the underpass for wildlife throughout the Expressway. However, we were suggested to change locations of a few underpasses. We will accordingly accommodate the recommendations of changing locations of wildlife underpasses,” Kurundkar added.
The Expressway would have total over 400 vehicular underpasses, over 300 wildlife and pedestrian underpasses and over 50 flyovers. The Rs 46,000-crore Expressway project is expected to reduce the travel time between Mumbai and Nagpur to 10 hours from the current 15-17 hours.
Between Bhiwandi and Nagpur, 84 per cent of the total 10,000 hectares required land for the Expressway construction is prime agricultural land, while 13 per cent is uncultivated land. The remaining 1.92 per cent is a forest land.