The state government is planning to come up with five stretches on the proposed 744-km-long Mumbai-Nagpur Super Expressway that can be used as ‘road runway’ where, during emergencies and natural disas
The state government is planning to come up with five stretches on the proposed 744-km-long Mumbai-Nagpur Super Expressway that can be used as ‘road runway’ where, during emergencies and natural disasters like flooding, earthquake and war-like situation, combat jets of the Indian Air Force (IAF) can have a safe landing.
The Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC), the implementing agency of the Expressway, has initiated studies to identify five spots on the proposed Expressway where civil engineering designs can be made considering the requirements of a road runway.
Prior to this, the Uttar Pradesh (UP) government in 2015 had decided to have a stretch of the proposed Lucknow-Agra Expressway to be designed as the country’s first road runway for fighter jets. Further, the IAF had successfully carried out a test landing of a Mirage-2000 on the Yamuna Expressway near Mathura in May 2015. The trial run was planned to use national highways and civil airstrips for emergency landings. “We have mentioned the clause of identifying five spots for road runway in the ‘Terms of Reference’ (TOF) to be considered by the consultants while studying to prepare the detailed project report (DPR) for the Expressway. Though we are looking for having three runways, we have asked the consultants to identify five spots and later the best feasible option will be picked up,” said a state government official.
The MSRDC believes that for a road runway the segment that will be proposed will have to be straight and located at a place that is not too windy or has slopes.
“The three spots where the runway will be constructed will not have electricity poles, mobile phone towers or any other physical obstacle. The lighting system could be on the ground level where runway is constructed and the medians (divider) that will be installed would be like a temporary structures that can be moved side-ways before the landing of an aircraft,” added the state government official.
Currently, countries like Germany, Singapore, Pakistan, China and Sweden have road runways. To avoid accidents on the proposed Mumbai-Nagpur Expressway, the MSRDC, in its TOF, has asked consultants to propose rest areas for drivers at every 75-km with other facilities like that of restaurants, hospitals and petrol pumps.
The Expressway is expected to have six lanes along with an additional two service roads. The entire corridor is expected to cut down travel time to 10 hours from the current 15-17 hours and the total estimated of cost of the Expressway is Rs 30,000 crore.