Sunday, 17 December, 2017

Bharatmala project to increase national corridors to 50: Gadkari

Centre's plan to add 83,000 km roads by 2022 may see approval of 7 lakh crore highway development project Approximately 83,000 km of roads in the nation will be developed and expanded under the 7 lakh crore project
Lance Thomas | 26 October, 2017, 00:14

NDA government announced the Bharatmala highway development plan which expands to approximately 83,000 Km on the roads.

The aim is to improve the speed of traffic flow on key corridors by providing uniform four-lane roads between two identified points.

Special attention has been paid to fulfil connectivity needs of backward and tribal areas, areas of economic activity, places of religious and tourist interest, border areas, coastal areas and trade routes with neighbouring countries, Gadkari said.

Briefing reporters after a cabinet meeting, Finance Secretary Ashok Lavasa said the road building projects will generate 14.2 crore man-days of jobs.

Gadkari said that Bharatmala will be a major driver for economic growth in the country, and help realise Prime Minister Modi's vision of a New India.

To expedite the Bharatmala projects, apart from ministry of road transport and highways and state-run firms-NHAI and National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd (NHIDCL)-even respective state public works departments (PWDs) will be roped in for timely execution, the government said.

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

On funding of Bharatmala project, the Government said, "Rs 2.09 lakh crore will be raised as debt from the market, Rs 1.06 lakh crore of private investments would be mobilised through PPP and Rs 2.19 lakh crore is to be provided out of accruals to the Central Road Fund (CRF), ToT Monetisation proceeds and Toll collections of NHAI". The finance ministry has committed to provide the fixed share of cess from fuel for highway projects irrespective of fluctuation in excise duty and there will also be at least 10% annual increase in budgetary support for the flagship scheme.

A total of around 24,800 kms are being considered in Phase I of Bharatmala.

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

The ring road project has also included the proposal to construct a third ring road in the national Capital that, starting from National Highway (NH)-1 near Narela and passing through NH-10 near Rohini and Dwarka, will end at NH-2. The government officials said better road network will transform India's road sector through the smart tag based tolling. According to an estimate, the present road conditions in the country allow a truck to cover an average distance of 250-300 kilometres every day, however, the same is over 800 kilometres in case of the developed countries. 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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