The Bharatmala Pariyojana is a centrally funded government project that focuses on the roads and highways projects in India. It is operated by the Ministry of Roads and Transport and was established back in 2015. The Minister of Road Transport and Highways, Mr Nitin Gadkari has announced that the National Highways Authority of India is focusing on making several highway works, worth Rs. 8 lakh crores, operational before the end of 2018 under the Bharatmala Pariyojana project.
Back in October 2017, Mr Gadkari communicated with the media following the cabinet committee on economic affairs conveying the news about the approval of the Bharatmala project. This is an umbrella program concerning the national highways that focuses on optimising the operations of the traffic movement on the highways by mending the infrastructural gaps. One important factor that Mr Gadkari focused on is the fact that this project will be an effective driver of the economic growth in the country.
The Bharatmala project has been developed to shape the vision of the “New India” that the Prime Minister of India himself talks about. The underlying projects in this primary one will ensure to bridge the infrastructural gaps in the highway sector to enhance the rate of efficiency concerning the outputs and the end results. This project, under the supervision of National Highways Authority of India, is going to focus on enhancing the connectivity to the backward and tribal areas, places of religious and tourist activities, border areas, trade routes and even the coastal areas.
If updates are to be considered, the autonomous organisation, NHAI, under the supervision of Mr Nitin Gadkari has stated that this project will also focus on the construction of 50 national corridors, which is a stark contrast to the 6 corridors that we have now. Ensuring this, the freight movement on the national highways will increase from a mere 40% to 70-80% which is definitely a lot. It is also set to connect over 550 districts with the national highway linkages from the 300 linkages that the country currently has.
Not just the overall infrastructural development, the Bharatmala Pariyojana project is also set to generate a lot of direct and indirect employment in the sector of the construction industry, development of wayside amenities at highways and several other adjoining sectors. This, in all, expects to enhance the economic activity in different parts of the country owing to the improved road connectivity.
In just the phase 1 of Bharatmala, NHAI and the authorities expect to construct around 24,800 km of the road which includes an additional construction of 10,000 km of balance road under the National Highways Development Project which has an estimated expenditure of Rs. 5,35,000 crores. The implementation period of the first phase of the project is from 2017-18 to 2021-22. The main aim of the project is to drive the better economic growth in the country and promote the better streamlined infrastructural development of the roads and highways around the country by decongesting the traffic and promoting a smoother and transparent project execution.