Cabinet Approves Construction Of Over 83000 Km Roads

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The project also entails constructing 6,000 km long inter corridor and feeder routes, 2,000 km of border and worldwide 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. The Bharatmala project also includes a North-East Economic corridor to improve the connectivity in the North East India.

"The new highway development programme is both building roads and improving mobility to reduce logistic cost". Presently only six national corridors have in the country.

Analysts said the push to road infrastructure would have a ripple effect on construction and job creation.

The announcement comes barely few months after Union Minister Nitin Gadkari told PTI that an umbrella programme for roads - Bharatmala - will hit the ground soon subsuming all existing highway projects, including the flagship National Highways Development Project (NHDP). Seventy to 80 per cent of freight will move along the national highways against 40 per cent at present.

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, he said.

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.

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Bharatmala Phase I will be implemented from 2017-18 to 2021-22.

"For the highway construction programme, Rs 2.09 lakh will come from market borrowing, Rs 1.06 lakh crore is expected to come through private investment and Rs 2.19 lakh crore will come from the central road fund and through toll operate transfer model", Lavasa said.

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

Bharatmala is likely to result in increasing average vehicular speed by 20-25 percent, reducing supply chain costs by 5 to 6 percent and besides giving impetus to production and exports.

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 Bharatmala project will improve the connectivity with neighbouring countries for which a total of 24 integrated checkpoints (ICPs) have been identified.

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