First Bharatmala projects to start by 2018: Gadkari

The proposal is aimed at reducing travel time of key
The proposal is aimed at reducing travel time of key corridors and reduce logistics costs
Author

26 October, 2017

While pruning the allocation for some of a scheme, the government has sought to ensure that the Bharatmala project does not face fund crunch over the next five years.

The government also plans to improve the speed of traffic movement on key corridors by providing uniform four-lane roads.

Projects such as economic corridors and coastal roads and port connectivity, global connectivity, border roads, roads connecting economically important nodes, green field expresswayswill be brought under its aegis. According to the ministries, the construction of the 10,000 km highways annually has a potential for generating four crore people per day and the mega-highway development programme that can be used to counter the allegations which government has failed to create employment opportunities.

Gadkari said the work on project preparation was in an advanced stage for 19,500 km and about 9,000 km bids were invited for engagement of consultant for preparation of Detailed Project Report (DPR) and total 550 districts would be connected with NH under the project.

The government on Tuesday approved a package of Rs 6.9 lakh crore to build approximately 83,000 km of highways by 2022.

The massive road building programme includes 34,800 km of BharatMala project to be constructed with an investment of Rs 5,35,000 crore.

This is the largest ever road construction project by Indian government.

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This includes Economic Corridors (9000 km), Inter Corridor and Feeder Route (6000 km), National Corridors Efficiency Improvement (5000 km), Border Roads and International Connectivity (2000 km), Coastal Roads and Port Connectivity (2000 km), Green field Expressways (800 km), National Highway Development (NHDP) works (10,000 km).

The project is also aimed to lead to decongestion of the corridor network with 185 identified choke points. This will be financed by providing Rs 97,000 crore from CRF and Rs 59,000 crore as gross budgetary support.

Central and state governments would spend another Rs 88,185 crore in the next three years towards constructing rural roads under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana.

The programme will focus on reducing the travel time for logistics and reducing costs.

"The government's decision to enhance spending in roads and highways, including port connectivity and border and cross-border roads, will have a big multiplier impact on economic growth", Chandrajit Banerjee, director general of the CII, said.

The government's new plan could significantly increase the average distance a truck covers daily in the country. In addition, Rs1.57 trillion will be spent on the construction of 48,877km of roads by the state-run National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) and the ministry of road transport and highways.


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