First Bharatmala projects to start by 2018: Gadkari


"Bharatmala, the new umbrella programme for the highways sector, focuses on optimising efficiency of road traffic movement across the country by bridging critical infrastructure gaps".

According to information mentioned on the social media account of PIB, the Bharatmala project also includes a North-East Economic corridor to improve the connectivity in the North East India. Apart from this, the Minister said the programme will also help generate a large number of direct and indirect employment in the construction activity, the development of highways amenities and also as part of the enhanced economic activity in different parts of the country that will result from better road connectivity.

Mr Gadkari said 550 districts will be covered under Bharatmala project as against earlier 300 districts.

Analysts said the push to road infrastructure would have a ripple effect on construction and job creation. Presently only six national corridors have in the country.

A day after the Union Cabinet approved a mega package of highway projects including the ambitious Bharatmala, road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari said the most of works in those projects worth around Rs 7 lakh crore would be awarded by December 2018.

Under Bharatmala, the Road Transport and Highways ministry will construct 9,000 km of economic corridors across the country. With this, 70-80 per cent of freight will move along NH as against the 40 per cent at present. Bharatmala Phase-I will be implemented over a five years period of i.e. 2017-18 to 2021-22.

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Stretches connecting more than two corridors are classified as inter-corridors routes, while other routes connecting to one or two corridors are termed as feeder corridors.

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.

For the BMP programme, Rs 2.09 lakh crore will be raised as debt from the market, Rs 1.06 lakh crore of private investments would be mobilized through PPP and Rs 2.19 lakh crore is to be provided out of accruals to the Central Road Fund (CRF), toll-operate-maintain transfer (ToT) monetisation proceeds and toll collections of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI).

"Thus, the overall outlay for Bharatmala and all existing schemes put together will be Rs 6,92,324 crore over five years".

Shares of infrastructure companies surged up to 10 per cent today on announcement of a massive Rs 6.92 lakh crore road building programme.

A study under the proposed Bharatmala project by global consultancy firm AT Kearney had identified 44 economic corridors.