First Bharatmala projects to start by 2018: Gadkari

Bharatmala other highway projects worth Rs 7 trillion get government's nod

Bharatmala other highway projects worth Rs 7 trillion get government's nod

Terming Bharatmala as "connecting India like never before", the PMO said the Rs 5.35 lakh km project will include 9,000 km of economic corridors to unlock full economic potential, 6,000 km of inter-corridor and feeder routes, 5,000 km of national corridors efficiency improvement, 2,000 km of border road connectivity, 800 km of expressways and 10,000 km of balance NHDP projects. Most of these corridors will be shorter and access-controlled for faster movement of cargo vehicles. Addressing a press conference in New Delhi, Mr Gadkari said tribal and border areas and economically backward districts have been especially considered and it will give major fillip to infrastructure in the country.

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

As Bharatmala will require over Rs 5 lakh crore, the government has various fundraising plans under its sleeve. According to rumours, this might be the biggest announcement by the central government leading to the assembly polls later this year. With the infrastructure push, the government has sought to counter allegations of failure to create jobs and also signal its recognition and intent of reviving the economy.

There will be 9,000 km of economic corridors, inter-corridor and feeder routes (6,000 km), national corridors efficiency improvement (5,000 km), border roads and global connectivity (2,000 km), coastal roads and port connectivity (2,000 km) and greenfield expressways (800 km) in the first phase.

The land acquisition process and detailed project reports for the scheme are underway and the Government is hopeful that the scheme would elicit a great response from the private sector, Gadkari said. This will be financed by providing Rs 97,000 crore from CRF and Rs 59,000 crore as gross budgetary support.

A total of around 600 projects have been identified across the components for Bharatmala.

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.

Taking forward its commitment to providing more efficient transportation, the government has debottlenecked the roads sector and significantly stepped up the highway development and road building programme. The government will try to improve mobility through better road networks and rolling out of smart-tag based tolling. 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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