The Chennai-Bengaluru Expressway is being built as part of the central government’s impressive plan of building a network of 12 world-class expressways.
The Chennai-Bengaluru expressway is a green-field alignment project with a planned closed toll system. There are two roads currently connecting the capital cities of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. One is via Hoskote and 335 km long, and the other route covers the Electronic City and Hosur, running a distance of 372 km. The alignment of the new Bengaluru-Chennai Expressway is planned to be built between these two stretches.
The greenfield expressway is to be a 262 km, six-lane, access-controlled expressway starting at Hoskote in Karnataka and ending at Outer Ring Road near Chennai, reducing the travel time between the two metropolitan cities from six to seven hours currently to over four hours. It offers a speed limit of 120 km for vehicles while cutting down the distance between the two cities by 80 km. At present, the distance between Bengaluru and Chennai through Krishnagiri in Tamil Nadu is 345 km.
It will pass through Hoskote and Malur in Karnataka, V Kota and Palamaner in Andhra Pradesh, Gudiyatam, Arakkonam and Sri Perambadur in Tamil Nadu.
Covering a length of 75.64 km within Karnataka, 88.30 km in Andhra Pradesh and 98.32 km in Tamil Nadu, it will also connect the districts of Tiruvallur, Kancheepuram and Vellore in Tamil Nadu before arriving at Sriperumbudur.
The new expressway will facilitate the flow of traffic between Bengaluru and Chennai on existing roads. At least 9,500 passenger vehicles travel between the two cities every day.
The expressway is being executed under a public-private partnership (PPP). It is valued at approximately Rs. 17, 900 crore and requires acquisition of land worth 2,650 hectares, of which around 800 hectares lie in Karnataka. As of December 2018, the Centre had already expended Rs 1,370 crore on pre-construction activities.
The expressway project is planned to be executed in five phases: Bengaluru to Kolar; Kolar to Palamaner; Palamaner to Chittoor; Chittoor to Kancheepuram and Kancheepuram to Sriperumbudur. Two proposed elevated expressways will provide connectivity of the last mile to Chennai. All of the land has been acquired as of February 2020, the National Highways Authority of India will soon call for tenders to prospective contractors the work on all phases together.
The development of the expressway will also encourage the construction of a mega industrial zone called the Chennai-Bengaluru Industrial Corridor (CBIC). The long-term goal of the CBIC is to promote itself as a sustainable manufacturing hub that will open up positions for sustainable at least 22 million jobs in the next 20 years. Within the corridor, the project will incite growth of large industries and SMEs alike. As such, the Chennai-Bengaluru expressway holds importance not only for the two metropolitan cities it connects, but also for the flourishment of the region in entirety.