Cabinet Approves Construction Of Over 83000 Km Roads

The government also approved the construction of 2,000 km of roads, along the eastern and western borders of the country to boost border roads and worldwide connectivity. It will also bypass Najafgarh and connect Dwarka and NH-8.

Union Road and transport minister Nitin Gadkari.

"Bharatmala programme includes development of 44 Economic Corridors, 66 Inter Corridor Routes and 16 Feeder Routes". The Delhi-Meerut package will be completed soon.

Gadkari said that the entire process of awarding the contracts would happen fast and in a transparent manner.

During the presentation, the Minister has highlighted 185 choke points identified to decongest corridors that include bypasses of Agra, Varanasi, Sasaram on Kolkata-Delhi corridor, Aurangabad bypass area on Mumbai-Kolkata corridor, Amritsar bypass on Amritsar-Jamnagar corridor, Gwalior bypass on Agra-Mumbai corridor, Nanded bypass on Hyderabad-Aurangabad corridor, Firozabad bypass on Kolkata-Delhi corridor, Bellary bypass on Bellary-Solapur corridor. Even inter-country trade will be facilitated by improving infrastructure leading to border points apart from national security getting strengthened due to improved road connectivity. It will enhance the connectivity between the state capitals and key towns in the nort-east and will also multimodal freight movement via 7 Waterway terminals on River Brahmaputra- Dhubri, Silghat, Biswanath Ghat, Neamati, Dibrugarh, Senagajan and Oriyamghat.

For projects not covered under the Bharatmala programme, Rs97,000 crore will be provided by the CRF and Rs59,000 crore will be provided as gross budgetary support. It will improve India's connectivity to Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Myanmar.

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 worldwide connectivity (2,000 km), coastal roads and port connectivity (2,000 km) and greenfield expressways (800 km) in the first phase.

"Bharatmala will bring down logistics cost, impacting exports and investment", Gadkari said.

"Bharatmala will give the country 50 national corridors, compared with six at present". Seventy to 80 per cent of freight will move along the national highways against 40 per cent at present.

"The quality of highways would be such that they would see no potholes for the next 100 years", he said. NHAI has AAA+ rating and it can raise more fund throw market borrowings.

Gadkari, however, admitted that land acquisition for this massive highway expansion program will be "tough and complicated". 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. Bharatmala Phase-I will be implemented over a five years period of i.e. 2017-18 to 2021-22.

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.