Centre is planning to expand roads by approximately 83,000 km by 2022. The plan will cost Rs 6.9 lakh crore.
In a bid to boost road connectivity, the Narendra Modi Cabinet is all set to give the go-ahead to the biggest ever highway development plan. Centre is planning to expand roads by approximately 83,000 km by 2022. The plan will cost Rs 6.9 lakh crore. Aimed at improving economic activity, the project will also speed up traffic flow on key corridors and make the journey shorter for faster movement of cargo vehicles, according to The Times of India. The Bharatmala highway programme which plans to improve the connectivity to the border areas, international, port and coastal regions will also be included in the announcement. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is likely to make a formal announcement regarding the project at 4 pm today.
Bharatmala is a mega plan of the government and the largest highways project after the NHDP that saw the development of about 50,000 km. An official source has said that the new highway development programme will include both building roads and improving mobility to reduce logistic cost, as per TOI report. It is estimated that construction of 10,000 km of highways annually can generate four crore mandays of work. Centre will bear 70 per cent of the cost of this ambitious project. However, the rest of the cost will be recovered by fuel cess, private investment and auctioning of completed highways etc.
Earlier, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari had said an umbrella programme for roads – Bharatmala – will hit the ground soon ending all existing highway projects, including the flagship NHDP. “National Highways Development Project (NHDP) and all existing schemes will be finished in the coming six months. We will launch Bharatmala very soon,” Gadkari, the Road Transport and Highways Minister had said.