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Bharatmala Project

Bharatmala Project is one of the biggest highway construction plan so far in the country, to develop approximately 83,677 km of roads at an investment of Rs 6.92 lakh crore by 2022.
The programme includes the Bharatmala scheme, under which 34,800 km of highways would be constructed at the cost of Rs 5.35 lakh crore. Under Bharatmala, the road transport and highways ministry will construct 9,000 km of economic corridors across the country.

The project also entails constructing 6,000 km long inter corridor and feeder routes, 2,000 km of border and international connectivity roads, 5,000 km to be upgraded under the national corridor efficiency programme, 800 km of greenfield expressways, 10,000 km under the national highway development programme and 2,000 km of coastal and port connectivity roads.

Bharatmala project will start in Gujarat and Rajasthan, followed by Punjab and subsequently traversing the Himalayan belt through Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, parts of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Sikkim, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur (next to the Indo-Burmese border) and then to Mizoram. Northeastern states have been given special focus in the project and international trade is a key aspect as well.

The newer roads are expected to increase the speed of vehicles and decrease supply chain costs from the current average 18 per cent to six per cent.

The highway construction programme is aimed at pushing economic activity and generating at least 14.2 crore man-days across the country over the next five years.

The government will fund Bharatmala project through market borrowings, central road funds, monetising government-owned road assets, and budgetary allocation.

The government has assigned NHAI, National Highway and Industrial Development Corporation (NHIDCL) and state public work departments for the highway projects.

Practice question:

1. Which of the following is/are the components of the Bharatmala Project?
1. Economic corridors development that have heavy freight traffic.
2. National Corridors Efficiency improvements for mainly the construction and development of Green Field Expressway.
3. Coastal & port connectivity roads of strategic importance along international boundaries

Select the correct answer using the codes given below:

a) 1 and 3

b) 2 and 3

c) Only 1

d) None

Ans: c
Exp: Components are:
• Economic Corridor - As per the guidelines of the road construction project, the construction of 9000kms of Economic Corridors will be undertaken by the central government.
• Feeder Route or Inter Corridor - The total length of the roads, which fall under the Feeder Route or Inter Corridor category, is a whopping 6000kms.
• National Corridor Efficiency Improvement - 5000kms of roads, constructed under the scheme will fall in the category of National Corridor for the better connection between roads.
• Border Road and International Connectivity - Connecting the cities and remote areas, which are situated in the border regions, the project has kept provision for constructing 2000kms roads that fall in the Border Road or International Connectivity category.
• Port Connectivity and Coastal Road - To connect the areas that are dotted along the shorelines and important ports, the central government has ordered the construction of 2000km of roads.
• Green Field Expressway - The main stress will be given on the construction and development of Green Field Expressway for better management of traffic and freight.
• Balance NHDP Works - Under the last segment, the project will see a construction and maintenance of about 10,000kms of new roads.

 

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