The National Highway Authority of India has awarded a $373m (Rs1,725-crore) contract to a Reliance Infrastructure-led consortium to build a highway between Pune and Satara in the state of Maharashtra.

The 140km six-lane road will be part of the National Highway-4, which serves as the main corridor connecting Mumbai and Pune to southern cities such as Bangalore and Chennai.

The company will carry out the project along with China-based infrastructure firm JTEG on a design, build, finance, operate and transfer basis.

The contract period is 24 years and the construction of the road is expected to finish by July 2012.