Be it the ambitious Chardham Project or the Bharatmala Project, the Modi government is focussing a lot on development and expansion of highways....
The Modi government is paying special attention to infrastructure. India built 2,979 km of highways during the April-September last year, up 21.7% over the corresponding period a year ago. According to a report, National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) constructed 985 km of roads during the first six months of 2016 while 1,994 km of highways were built by the ministry of road transport and highways (MoRTH). Not just this, In Budget 2017, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced enhancing the outlay for National Highways by 11 per cent to Rs 64,000 crore. Be it the ambitious Chardham Project or the Bharatmala Project, the Modi government is focussing a lot on development and expansion of highways. We take a look at five big highway projects of the government:
1) Chardham Highway Project: This Rs 12,000 crore dream project of the Modi government will be completed by the end of 2018. “This (Chardham project) is a promise made to the people of Uttarakhand. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has initiated the process. It will be completed before the end of 2018,” Nitin Gadkari said. With this highway, pilgrimage to Char Dham is likely to become a lot safer and comfortable as the government has set out to widen the existing, geometrically deficient 900-km highway connecting Gangotri, Yamunotri, Kedarnath, and Badrinath. Apart from widening, the ministry plan to improve the stretches to two-lane carriageway with paved shoulders, protect landslide hazard zones, construct bypasses, long bridges, tunnels and elevated corridors to ensure safety for the users.
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2) North East Express Highway: The first highway project in the northeastern region will be developed along the Brahmaputra river in Assam at an estimated investment of Rs 40,000 crore. Nitin Gadkari made this announcement at the closing ceremony of Namami Brahmaputra Festival. “Northeast is our priority. We are going to develop the first express highway of North East in Assam along the banks of Brahmaputra. This 1,300 km-long express highway is likely to incur an investment of Rs 40,000 crore,” Gadkari said. He said that the express highway will be axis-controlled and vehicles will be able to ply at very high speed. In Gadkari’s presence, a tripartite agreement was signed between the Assam government, the National Highways Authority of India and the Inland Waterways of India.
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3) Bharatmala Project: This is Narendra Modi’s Rs 14,000 crore project linking India’s vast west-to-east land border. The project will start from Gujarat and Rajasthan, move to Punjab and then cover the entire string of Himalayan states. In a way, this road network will garland the entire country. The government is planning to finish this project in 5 years.
4) Setu Bharatam project: The Rs 50,800-crore Setu Bharatam project was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 4 March 2016 with an aim to make all national highways free of railway crossings by 2019. Under the project, 208 railway crossings will be replaced by rail over bridges (ROBs) at an estimated cost of Rs 20,800 crore. Also, 1,500 bridges of the British era across the country will be overhauled for around Rs 30,000 crore.
5) Delhi-Jaipur, Baroda-Mumbai highways: Last month Nitin Gadkari said that the Delhi-Jaipur express highway would be built at a cost of Rs 18,000 crore. The advanced cement-concrete 225-km express highway will be the second in the country after Mumbai-Pune express highway. The Union minister said that Mumbai-Baroda express highway is also in the plan.