Moneycontrol
Oct 25, 2017 05:25 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

First phase of Bharatmala Pariyojana to start by end of 2018: Gadkari

The initiative has been billed as India’s biggest ever infrastructure project

ByNikita Vashisht
First phase of Bharatmala Pariyojana to start by end of 2018: Gadkari

 

Union minister for road transport and highways, Nitin Gadkari, today presented a detailed road map of the Modi-government’s flagship road programme Bharatmala Pariyojana (BMP), having a capital outlay of Rs 6.92 lakh crore.

“It is our target to start first phase of Bharatmala before the end of 2018,”said Gadkari.

Briefing the media in New Delhi, the union minister termed the Bharatmala Pariyojana as the “biggest infrastructure project” in Indian history, connecting border areas, coastal regions, tourist and pilgrimage sites and port areas.

He said that it was a part of the “New India” that Prime Minister Narendra Modi wishes to create by 2022.

The umbrella programme for highways sector, which will subsume National Highways Development Programme (NHDP), on Tuesday received Cabinet’s assent to start the work on phase-I of Bharatmala. Moneycontrol had first reported that the project was expected to get Cabinet’s nod in October.

Also read: Highways project Bharatmala expected to be launched by October

The project will be taken up by the ministry in two phases of 24.800 kilometre and 30,600 km each, and envisages connecting the “missing links” in NHDP.

“... Wherever we found that there were missing gaps which needs to be optimised... Bharatmala was conceptualised,” said Yudhvir Singh Malik, secretary, road transport.

The secretary said that an “intensive study” was undertaken to conceptualise the programme to solve issues related to traffic congestion, seamless cargo movement across ports and border area connectivity.

“Identification has gone through three layers of due diligence. First is identification of origin and destination study, second is traffic study and third was satellite mapping of routes,” said Malik.

BMP has identified 26,200 km of economic corridors, 15,800 km of feeder roads, 13,100 km of national corridors, 5,200 km of border and international connectivity roads, 3,300 km of coastal roads and 1,800 km of expressways for construction.

The ministry said that once such routes are developed, travel time by road would reduce cost across supply chain by 20-25 percent while highways would be capable of carrying freight up to 80 percent.

The ministry also said that it was undertaking development of logistics parks under BMP near major metro cities to increase carriage capacity of trucks to improve supply chain management.

“The Logistics Parks would work as hub and spoke model where the park could be set up between two major cities,” said Malik adding that a huge truck could carry freight between the two cities while smaller trucks at the disbursal spot could carry the freight further as per requirement.

Apart from this, National Highways Authority of India has been given greater authority to carry out the construction work under BMP for speedier progress.

The entire project would be financed through budgetary support of Rs 59,973 crore, Central road fund of Rs 2.37 lakh crore, Monetisation of highways up to Rs 34,000 crore and through Toll-Permanent Bridge Fund Fee (PBFF) of Rs 46,048.

The union minister said that he would target at least Rs one to 1.5 lakh crore from private investors along with targeting sources like insurance, et cetera.

“Funding is a cycle... it is not an issue,” said Gadkari.
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