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Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari on Thursday assured that Delhi-Amritsar- Katra expressway would be launched in two years. The minister said that the expressway would reduce the distance between the two cities to 572 km from the current 727 km. Gadkari claimed that travellers would reach Katra in just six hours through the expressway.

The project will promote religious tourism as the road will connect two important holy cities—Katra-Vaishno Devi and Amritsar— before it teaches Delhi.

The Expressway will also provide connectivity to important Sikh shrines at Dera Baba Nanak, Goindwal Sahib, Khadoor Sahib and Tarn Taran.

Separately, Gadkari will review the progress of the Delhi-Mumbai Expressway (DME) on September 16-17.

The DME expressway, which would be 1,380 km long, is said to be the longest expressway in India.

The expressway will connect the urban centers of Delhi through the Delhi-Faridabad-Sohna section of the corridor along with a spur to Jewar Airport and Jawaharlal Nehru Port to Mumbai through a spur in Mumbai.

The new expressway is expected to halve the commute time between Delhi and Mumbai from nearly 24 hours to 12 hours and shorten the distance by 130 km.

“I am happy that it's the world's largest expressway and a matter of pride for our country...With this Delhi-Mumbai expressway, we will be able to reach Mumbai in about 12.5 hours," Gadkari said.

Delhi-Mumbai Expressway was kick-started in 2018 with the foundation stone being laid on March 9, 2019.

This week, Gadkari called roads and highway projects "gold mine" and invited US investors to invest in the sector.

While addressing Indo US Economic Summit, Gadkari said, "I will request you particularly for insurance, pension funds. They have really a tremendous opportunity for investment in road infrastructure in India. The toll income, which is 40,000 crore per year, is expected to shoot up to 1.4 lakh crore annually in the next three years".

In the union budget 2021, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways received 1,18,101 crore, of which 1,08,230 crore was for capital expenditure.

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