The Union government has decided to start construction work on four greenfield expressways at an investment of ₹1 lakh crore. The West Bengal-based projects are aimed at decongesting traffic in Kolkata and improving logistics efficiency across the state.
i. The Kharagpur-Burdwan-Moregram 230-km-long expressway starting from NH-16, near Kharagpur and ending at Morgram (NH-34 & NH-60 Junction). It is part of the Kharagpur-Siliguri Economic Corridor being developed under the Bharatmala Pariyojana. The 4-lane expressway will be built into five packages at an estimated cost of ₹12,000 crore, tender for which will be floated shortly. Currently, the traffic originating from Tamil Nadu and Odisha and going to North Bengal has to cross Kolkata, which is leading to traffic snarls and increasing travel time by almost five hours. The new expressway will provide direct connectivity to Siliguri in North Bengal and decongest the 'City of Joy'.
ii. The Gorakhpur-Siliguri Expressway with a length of 519-km runs from Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh to Siliguri in West Bengal via Bihar. Around 84 km of this four-lane expressway would pass through Gorakhpur, Deoria, and Kushinagar districts in Uttar Pradesh before entering Bihar. It will pass through West Champaran, East Champaran, Sitamarhi, Madhubani, Supaul, Araria and Kishanganj before reaching Siliguri. Once operational, it will provide a direct link for outbound traffic from the Northeast region towards Northern India, including Punjab and Haryana.
iii. The 610-km-long Varanasi-Kolkata Expressway planned under Bharatmala Pariyojna (BMP) Phase-2 will provide high-speed connectivity to the northern and eastern regions of the country.
iv. The 700-km-long Raxaul-Haldia starts at Raxaul on Indo-Nepal border in Bihar and terminates near Haldia port in West Bengal after passing through Jharkhand. The expressway will cross Asansol, Durgapur, and West Midnapore districts in West Bengal and will be connected to Kolkata. The Rs 35,000 crore project will criss-cross Kharagpur-Burdwan-Moregram and Varanasi-Kolkata expressway near Ramjivanpur village in West Midnapore district, to provide seamless interchange across all the expressways.