PM lays foundation stone of 13 NH projects focused towards improving connectivity in Pandharpur

As per reports, the 13 highway projects will span over a length of 574 km, and will be constructed at an estimated cost of INR 12,294 crore

PM lays foundation stone of 13 NH projects focused towards improving connectivity in Pandharpur

Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, on Monday, November 8, 2021, laid the foundation stone for four laning of five sections of NH-965 (Sant Dnyaneshawar Maharaj Palkhi Marg) and three sections of NH-965G (Shri Sant Tukaram Maharaj Palkhi Marg) in Maharashtra’s Pandharpur locality. The event was held online in the presence of the Governor of Maharashtra Shri Bhagat Singh Koshyari, Chief Minister of Maharashtra Shri Uddhav Thackeray, Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Shri Nitin Gadkari and Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways Gen. V.K. Singh

Talking about the project, the PM said that the project will facilitate the movement of Lord Vitthal’s devotees coming from all over the nation and beyond to Pandharpur. The foundation stone was laid for 13 highway projects of total length 574 km with an estimated cost of Rs 12,294 crore. 

Speaking highly of Pandharpur, he said that the court of Bhagavan Vitthal is equally open to everyone. Reflecting on the spiritual richness of India, he added that the service to Pandharpur is the service to Lord Narayan Hari for him as it is the land where the Lord resides even today. 

Union Road Transport and Highways Minister, Nitin Gadkari, said "In Maharashtra's literature and art and culture, saints have played a big role and Pandharpur is a place that specially inspires saints. Hence, I am lucky to get a chance, as a part of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways to build Palkhi Marg for the warkaris at Pandharpur. In Maharashtra, we have tried to complete roads for pilgrimage to Renukadevi temple at Mahurgad, Tulja Bhavani temple at Tuljapur, Shree Ambabai temple at Kolhapur, Sant Eknath Maharaj birthplace a Paithan, Gajanan Maharaj temple at Shegaon and Shirdi Saibaba temple.”

Dedicated walkways for ‘Palkhi’ will be constructed on either side of these National Highways, providing hassle free and safe passage to devotees.  An estimated cost of more than Rs. 6690 crore will be incurred for four-laning of about 221 km of Sant Dnyaneshwar Maharaj Palkhi Marg from Diveghat to Mohol in five phases across Mohol-Wakhari, Wakhari-Khudus, Khudus-Dharampuri, Dharampuri-Lonand and Lonand to Diveghat sections, while about 130 Km of Sant Tukaram Maharaj Palkhi Marg will also be four-laned in three phases from Patas to Baramati, Baramati to Indapur and Indapur to Tondale sections, for which around Rs. 4400 crore will be spent. PM also requested the devotees to plant trees on the Palkhi Margs and to make necessary arrangements for drinking water along this walkway. 

Officials, in the review meeting, discussed that lakhs and crores of pilgrims visit places which are a part of our culture and heritage, and hence these places should have good roads and connectivity, be clean and especially have hygienic toilets. On the basis of these guidelines, 50 religious places around India, have been brought under the under the Bharatmala Pariyojana.

"We are also trying to build roads on Manasarovar route. It will also be possible to travel to Manasarovar from India for which work is being done with full speed", Gadkari added assuring that the works of the road connecting Wakhari to Pandharpur will include rebuilding a railway bridge, at an estimated cost of Rs 74 crore.

Furthermore, the list of other planned highway projects also includes  more than 223 Km of completed and upgraded road projects, constructed with an estimated cost of over Rs. 1180 crore at different National Highways for boosting connectivity to Pandharpur. These projects include Mhaswad - Piliv - Pandharpur (NH 548E), Kurduwadi -Pandharpur (NH 965C), Pandharpur - Sangola (NH 965C), Tembhurni-Pandharpur section of NH 561A and Pandharpur - Mangalwedha - Umadi section of NH 561A.

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