With an aim to improve connectivity, especially along the economic corridors, border regions and far-flung areas, the Central government in 2017 launched an ambitious highway development scheme — the Bharatmala project (or Bharatmala Pariyojana).
What is Bharatmala project?
The Bharatmala project is a government-funded mega roads and highways project in India, under which the Central government plans to build a robust high-speed road network across the country.
Bharatmala project: Key facts
|Name of the scheme
|Year of launch
|July 31, 2015
|What is it?
|Second-largest highways construction project in India after National Highways Development Project
|Ministry overseeing the project
|Ministry of Road Transport and Highways
|Rs 5.35 lakh crore
|Agencies responsible for implementation
|National Highways Authority of India, National Highway and Industrial Development Corporation, state public works departments
The Bharatmala project has been touted as the second-largest highways construction project in India after the National Highways Development Project (NHDP). The road network built under the Centre’s flagship Bharatmala project, is likely to support quicker movement of cargo and boost international trade, among other things.
“Bharatmala will bring down logistics cost, impacting exports and investment,” road transport minister Nitin Gadkari said, after the union cabinet approved the project on October 25, 2017. Quicker movement is also likely to decrease the supply chain costs from the current average of 18% to 6%.
“The project focuses on optimising efficiency of freight and passenger movement across the country, by bridging critical infrastructure gaps through effective interventions like development of economic corridors, inter-corridors and feeder routes, national corridor efficiency improvement, border and international connectivity roads, coastal and port connectivity roads and greenfield expressways,” the road transport ministry said in a statement.
Starting in Gujarat and Rajasthan and then going up to Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, parts of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal before hitting Sikkim, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Mizoram, prime minister Narendra Modi’s pet project has special focus on providing connectivity to India’s north-eastern states.
Bharatmala project development phases
Under the Bharatmala project, around 65,000 kms of national highways are to be constructed in two phases.
Bharatmala Pariyojana Phase-1
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved the Bharatmala Pariyojana Phase 1 in October 2017. Under Phase 1, a total of 34,800 kms of roads will be developed. Under Phase-I of the Bharatmala Pariyojana, a 571 infrastructure projects with an aggregate length of 19,785 km have been approved till date. These projects are to be developed at an estimated cost of Rs 593,820 crore.
Bharatmala roads under Phase 1:
- Economic corridors (9,000 kms)
- Inter-corridor and feeder routes (6,000 kms)
- Roads under the National Corridors Efficiency Program (5,000 kms)
- Border and international connectivity roads (2,000 kms)
- Coastal and port connectivity roads (2,000 kms)
- Expressways (800 kms)
- NHDP roads (10,000 kms).
Expressways to be built under Bharatmala Pariyojana Phase-I
Under the Bharatmala Pariyojana Phase-I, the government will develop the following expressways as well as access controlled corridors:
- Delhi-Vadodara Expressway
- Vadodara-Mumbai Expressway
- Ahmedabad-Dholera Expressway
- Delhi-Amritsar-Katra Expressway
- Bengaluru-Chennai Expressway
- Kanpur-Lucknow Expressway
- Ambala-Kotputli Corridor
- Chennai-Salem Corridor
- Amritsar-Bhatinda-Jamnagar Corridor
- Durg-Raipur-Arang Corridor
- Raipur-Vishakhapatnam Corridor
- Chitoor-Thatchur Corridor
- Urban Extension Road II
- Delhi-Dehradun Corridor
- Bengaluru-Satellite Ring Road
- Surat-Ahmednagar Solapur
- Solapur-Kurnool Corridor
- Kharagpur-Siliguri Corridor (Till Morgram)
- Indore-Hyderabad Corridor
- Hyderabad (Suryapet)-Vishakhapatnam (Devarpalle) Corridor
- Kota–Indore (Garoth – Ujjain) Corridor
- Hyderabad-Raipur Corridor
- Nagpur-Vijayawada Corridor
Till December 2023, road projects spanning 15,549 kilometre have been built under Phase-I of the Centre’s Bharatmala Pariyojana, Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari told the Lok Sabha on February 8. This is 76% of the total target of 34,800 km set under Phase-1.
So far, 26,418 km of road projects have been awarded under the scheme. An amount of Rs 4.23 lakh crore has been spent under Bharatmala Pariyojana Phase-I till December 2023.
Bharatmala project Phase-2
Under Phase-2 of the government’s Bharatmala project, the road transport ministry is planning to build 5,000 kilomere of expressways at an estimated spending of Rs 3 trillion , says a media report. According to the report, the plan has yet to get approval from the government. The ministry has earlier planned to develop expressways spanning 8,100 km at an estimated expenditure of Rs 3.66 trillion.
Job creation under Bharatmala project
The project is expected to generate nearly 22 million jobs and 100 million man days of jobs, as a result of the increased economic activity across India.
Funding for Bharatmala project
Being a central government road and highways project, the Bharatmala Pariyojana is funded through many routes, including budgetary allocation, private investment, debt funds, the toll-operator-transfer model, etc.
Agencies responsible for construction under Bharatmala
The National Highways Authority of India, the National Highway and Industrial Development Corporation and state public works departments, have been entrusted with the responsibility to complete the project.
Bharatmala Pariyojana latest news updates
Centre includes Nashik Road stretch in Bharatmala project Phase-1
August 19, 2021: Road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari has said the centre has included the 5.9-km Dwarka Circle to Datta Mandir Chowk stretch of the Nashik Road in Phase-1 of the Bharatmala project. In a tweet on August 19, 2021, Gadkari said the decision would bring huge relief to the daily commuters between Nashik city and the Nashik Road railway station, which is separated by the seven-km stretch of the Nashik-Pune national highway.
The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways will set up a flyover from Dwarka Circle to Datta Mandir Chowk that will ease the traffic congestion on Nashik Road. Heavy vehicles can take the flyover between the two points and travel across the city, Nashik MP, Hemant Tukaram Godse said.
Chambal Expressway included in Bharatmala Pariyojana Phase-1
August 19, 2021: Road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari has said the centre has included the 404-km Chambal Expressway in Phase-1 of Bharatmala Pariyojana. The Rs 8,250-crore Chambal Expressway passes through far-flung areas of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. It will also provide cross-connectivity with the Golden Quadrilateral’s Delhi-Kolkata corridor, the North-South corridor, the East-West corridor and the Delhi-Mumbai Expressway.
Centre includes of MP’s Atal Progress-Way project in Bharatmala Phase-I
August 19, 2021: The Atal Progress-Way project of Madhya Pradesh will be part of the Bharatmala project under Phase-1 after the union Road Transport Ministry approved its inclusion. To be built at an estimated cost of Rs 7,000 crores, the Atal Progress-Way project would be developed on 1,500 hectares of government land.
“The Atal Progress-Way would prove to be a lifeline for the development of the Gwalior-Chambal division. An industrial corridor will be constructed around this 404-km-long expressway. It will become an important link in the economic development of the region,” MP chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said. This 404-km expressway in Madhya Pradesh will pass through Bhind, Morena and Sheopur districts of Chambal, connecting Jhansi (Uttar Pradesh) in the east and Kota (Rajasthan) in the west.
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