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Last Updated : Jul 05, 2019 07:17 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Budget 2019| FM puts highways on fast track with Rs 82,570 crore push

The Bharatmala Pariyojana is an umbrella programme, comprising about 65,000 km of Highways.

Representative image
Representative image

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on July 5, 2019, allocated the highest-ever budgetary support of Rs 82,570.93 crore to the highways sector in the full Union Budget 2019-20 as the government looks set to step up pedal on the flagship Bharatmala Pariyojana.

The Bharatmala Pariyojana is an umbrella programme, comprising about 65,000 km of Highways. After completing Phase 1 of Bharatmala, in the second phase, the government plans to help states develop state road networks.

The “ambitious” project, with a total capital outlay of Rs 6.92 lakh crore will see construction of Economic Corridors (9,000 km), Inter Corridor and Feeder Route (6,000 km), National Corridors Efficiency Improvement (5000 km), Border Roads and International Connectivity (2000 km), Coastal Roads and Port Connectivity (2000 km), Greenfield Expressways (800 km) and remaining work of NHDP works (10,000 km).

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The first phase, being undertaken between 2017 and 2022, will see the construction of 34,800 km of national highways, including 10,000 km of remaining highways under NHDP, at the cost of Rs 5.35 lakh crore.

Investment in highways has a multi-fold impact as this opens the gateway for supply industries such as cement and steel coupled with creating many fold job opportunities. Bharatmala is expected to create two million direct jobs.

The highways sector has been one of the best performing areas of the government with the government expenditure rising from Rs 34,345.2 crore in 2014-15 to Rs 78,625.5 crore in 2018-19. According to a report by rating agency ICRA, close to 39 percent projects were started under the highways sector out of over 600 infrastructure-related projects started between 2014 and 2018.

The government intends to construct 60,000 km of national highways in the next five years and bring in new technologies and designs in road construction, operation and maintenance.

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First Published on Jul 5, 2019 07:17 pm
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