A transformative project called BharatMala has been started for construction of roads along India’s borders & coastal areas. It will be umbrella programme for all roads ending all existing highway projects, including the flagship NHDP (National Highway Development Project). The Public Investment Board (PIB) has given its clearance for the project and is just a step away from clearance of the Union cabinet.
- It will be the second-largest highways project after the NHDP that saw development of about 50,000 km
- The total investment envisaged under Bharatmala was pegged at 10 lakh crore
- The ambitious highways development project subsuming all road projects in the first phase will see the construction of 29,000 km of highways at cost of Rs 5.5 lakh crore
- The road ministry plans to undertake a network of economic corridors in the country and a detailed project report on these has already been prepared by the global consultancy firm AT Kearney.
- AT Kearney has identified 44 economic corridors for development by the road ministry and these include Mumbai-Cochin-Kanyakumari, Bengaluru-Mangaluru, Hyderabad-Panaji and Sambalpur-Ranchi.
- To improve road connectivity to coastal / border areas, backward areas, religious places, tourist places
- Construction / rehabilitation / widening of about 1,500 major bridges and 200 Railway Over Bridges (ROBs) / Railway Under Bridges (RUBs) on National Highways
- Improvement of newly declared National Highways providing connectivity to District Head Quarters
- Connectivity Improvement Program for Char-Dham (Kedarnath, Badrinath, Yamunothri & Gangothri in Uttarakhand)
- Under the Bharatmala Project, construction or upgradation of about 35,000 kilometres of national highways is to be undertaken by 2022.