The road ministry has drawn up a plan to start work on a whopping Rs 40,000-crore projects to spruce up around 1,500 pre-Independence era bridges that are now in a dilapidated condition and construct 208 rail over and under bridges (ROBs/RUBs) at unmanned railway crossings on the national highways.
While the cost of over-hauling of the bridges would be around Rs 30,000 crore, an estimated Rs 10,200 crore would be spent on construction of the ROBs/RUBs, under the Setubharatam project, road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari told reporters here on Wednesday.
The minister said these outlived bridges would be constructed using pre-fabricated cemented material at 25 pre-cast fabrication industrial zones spread across the country. Use of such material, which is also environment-friendly, would lead to a 25-30% cost savings. These pre-fabricated structures could also be used in metro and building of low-cost houses.
Stating that the construction of ROBs/RUBs was aimed at eliminating all railway crossings on the national highways by 2019 under the Setubharatam project, the minister said the programme would be launched by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday.
In the first phase, 19 states would be benefitted under the Setubharatam programme.
Andhra Pradesh would be the biggest beneficiary of the Setubharatam project as it gets 33 ROBs/RUBs in the first phase. West Bengal would be the second biggest beneficiary with 22 projects and the least would come in Uttarakhand, where only two unmanned railway crossings would be developed with ROBs/ RUBs. Tender has been issued for around 65 such ROBs/RUBs.
“We want to eliminate all railway crossings on the national highways. In the first phase, we have identified for
construction 208 ROBs and RUBs at a total cost of R10,200 crore. Tender has been issued for around 65 such projects,” Gadkari said.