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The Malaysian government has evinced interest in developing the Mumbai-Nagpur expressway, Maharashtra Public Works Department Minister Eknath Shinde said today. A delegation from Malaysia called on Shinde and discussed the intricacies of the 700km road project that will connect two key cities of Maharashtra. "India and Malaysia have a long-standing relation. Malaysia has taken part in various development projects in the country and has used its advanced technology to develop roads, flyovers and subways," Shinde said. He was speaking to reporters at Mantralaya after meeting the visiting delegation. Shinde said the Malaysian government is keen to be part of the venture and the state appreciated their cooperation. "We would also like to work with them not only on this project, but more such projects." The project, a brainchild of the BJP-led Fadnavis government, seeks to transform the economy of drought-prone Vidarbha and Marathwada, the regions through which a major portion of the expressway will be constructed. Officially called the Nagpur Mumbai Super Communication Expressway (NMSCE), the project will pass through Nagpur, Buldhana, Amravati, Wardha, Washim, Thane, Aurangabad, Akola and Nashik districts. Land acquisition process for the project has already started. Shinde was present at two events in Nagpur and Thane last week where farmers signed land sale deeds with the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) for the venture, which is also called 'samruddhi mahamarg' (prosperity expressway).
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