A lot has been discussed during the past 5-7 years about the 5 star industrial area at MIDC Butibori and Multi- Modal International Hub Airport at Nagpur (MIHAN) popularly called as “Cargo Hub” which is also a Special Economic Zone (SEZ). Both these projects haven’t yet taken off well, though they are supposed to be the largest of their kind in Asia, when complete.
Developments in Mihan – Butibori Corridor:
Off late, some development has started though. There are some big industrial units in Butibori like Indorama, KEC International, Dinshaws, Gammon India, Morarjee Mills, Neco, Johnson Lifts, Hyundai Unitech, ACC Nihon etc. There are also newspaper printing presses and power plants in Butibori. It is heard that Maruti is planning to set up its stock yard as well.
Mihan is still in its nascent stage with a very few operational units. Major ones amongst them are Future Supply Chains (warehouse of a Future Group Company), TAL Manufacturing (Tata Group Company), Informatics Solutions, Caliber Point, Ebix, KloudData, Lupin, Abhijeet Power etc. Construction work of Boeing MRO plant is in full swing and the plant should get operational in 2013. TCS has commenced the construction work for its 54 acre campus in Mihan SEZ. Infosys has signed the lease agreement for 142 acres of land in Mihan SEZ. Shapoorji Pallonji Infocity is also ready. Companies like Sical Logistics, DLF and HCL also have acquired the land in Mihan.
This Mihan – Butibori corridor also has some of the big townships (existing and proposed) like Sahara City, First City, Mahindra Lifespaces Bloomdale, Moraj Waterfall Gateway. The area between Mihan to Butibori has places like VCA Cricket Stadium in Jamtha, Sun-n-Sand hotel, schools and colleges like Montfort School, Pallotti College, Wainganga College, Narayana Vidyalayam, Ira International School etc.
All these developments mentioned above have resulted in huge increase in road traffic and the problem is that there is only one approach road for this entire area, which is National Highway 7 also known as Wardha Road. This national highway is Delhi – Chennai national highway which already was having heavy vehicle traffic prior to all these developments. Now the traffic has increased multifold. I am personally experiencing that since last 1-2 years, I have to stop more than once on the same traffic signals on this road at peak hours, near Rajiv Nagar and Somalwada, which Nagpurians are not used to.
But apart from the fact that there is only one approach road, there is also one major infrastructural bottleneck for this Mihan – Butibori corridor. Alongside this NH- 7, there is a parallel railway track which is a part of both Howrah – Mumbai and Delhi – Chennai routes. This is also one of the busiest railway routes. So this NH-7 has a railway over bridge near Khapri. But even though NH-7 is a four lane highway, this Khapri railway over bridge is only a double lane road, unlike the recently inaugurated Butibori flyover which is a four lane over bridge. Apart from being double lane only, this bridge is not straight and it makes all the more difficult for the loaded containers to climb up the slope on a curved road. The road on this over bridge is also not good and there are a lot of potholes. Road divider is also not present on this bridge. With all these hurdles, whenever any vehicle jumps the lane and both the lanes become blocked, or whenever some accident occurs on this bridge, it results in huge traffic jams.
It’s not uncommon that there are long queues running for 1 -2 kms on either side of this bridge. Whenever such incidents happen, traffic police have to take the control and allow the traffic from either side for 10-10 minutes alternatively. The pictures below are self explanatory.
Keeping the future developments in mind, the authorities need to consider the possibilities for road expansion, flyovers etc. along this NH-7. The possibility of laying some new roads from different corners of the city should also be evaluated. Considering the fact that any major road expansion or bridge construction work takes 2-3 years after commencement in our country, it’s indeed a cause of concern for daily commuters since there is no such proposal announced till now.