Union Minister for Road Transport and Highway, Nitin Gadkari in a written reply in Rajya Sabha recently, informed that a total of 255 road projects with an aggregate length of about 10,699 km have been approved till October 2019, under the Bharatmala Pariyojana.
The Phase-I of the project which is targeted for completion by 2021-2022 is estimated at INR 2,64,916 crores.
Bharatmala Pariyojana, an umbrella project for the highways sector which was introduced in December 2017, has a total investment estimated at INR 5.35 lakh crore and is the key to the development of different sectors.
The scheme managed and proposed by the Road Transport and Highways Ministry is the single largest outlay for a government road construction scheme and will bridge the infrastructural gaps in the nation.
Aim of the Project
The Project aims to optimize the freight and passenger efficiency by easing up traffic congestion caused due to vehicles, making our economic corridors more effective, improving connectivity to border areas and many more.
The Project will interconnect 550 district Headquarters (300 currently) through a minimum 4 lane highway by raising the number of corridors to 50 (from current 6).
Apart from this, the movement of freight traffic to National Highways will also double to 80% from the existing 40% by interconnecting 24 logistics parks, 66 inter-corridors (IC) of total 8,000 km, 116 feeder routes (FR) of total 7,500 km and 7 northeast Multi-Modal Waterway ports.
Projects under Bharatmala
Many infrastructural developments will be done under the Bharatmala Pariyojana. They are as follows:
- Development of 9000 km of Economic Corridors at a cost of INR 1,20,000 crore
- Inter Corridors and Feeder Routes of length 6,000 km at a cost of INR 80,000 crore
- 5,000 km of National Corridor Efficiency Improvement at a cost of INR 1,00,000 crore
- Border and International connectivity roads stretching across 2,000 km at a cost of INR 25,000 crore
- Coastal and Port connectivity roads and Green-field expressways of length 2,000 km with a cost of INR 20,000 crore.
Also, the scheme will subsume the flagship of National Highway Development Project (NHDP), launched by Atal Bihar Vajpayee government in 1998.
The project is an enabler and beneficiary of the other key government project such as Sagarmala, Dedicated Freight Corridors, Industrial corridors, UDAN-RCS, BharatNet, Digital India and Make in India.
The Government of India in October 2017 had approved the Phase-I of the project with an aggregate length of 34800 km at the estimated cost.
However, earlier this year in a parliamentary session, Nitin Gadkari said that the estimated cost of the Bharatmala project is estimated to go up by INR 10,000 crores.
Further, he said, the Ministry was raising money for the project from the capital market, making the TOT (Toll-Operate-Transfer) model, capitalising on developed projects and also raising money from the overseas market. Apart from this, the project is expected to generate about 14.2 crore man-days of employment.