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Rs 6.92 lakh crore road projects unveiled for mega infra booster

Rs 6.92 lakh crore road projects unveiled for mega infra booster

The aim is to improve the speed of traffic flow on key corridors by providing uniform four-lane roads between two identified points.

The Central government's Bharatmala Paroyojana, which will increase the number of national corridors from six to 50 and double freight on national highways to around 80 per cent, will be rolled out by December next year, Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari said on Wednesday. This move is estimated to create 14.2 crore man-days of jobs apart from helping private infrastructure firms to improve their financials and also government getting private investments in the infrastructure sector.

The first project under Bharatmala is expected to be awarded by the end of next year as the land acquisition process and detailed project reports for the mega scheme are underway and award of the contract would take place once these aspects are finalised.

The government has already cleared Rs 5.35 lakh crore for Bharatmala Road Project. "This is the biggest infrastructure programme that will give priority to tribal and backward areas and border regions", Mr. Gadkari said.

The project also entails constructing 6,000 km long inter corridor and feeder routes, 2,000 km of border and global connectivity roads, 5,000 km to be upgraded under the national corridor efficiency programme, 800 km of greenfield expressways, 10,000 km under the national highway development programme and 2,000 km of coastal and port connectivity roads.

As Bharatmala will require over Rs 5 lakh crore, the government has various fundraising plans under its sleeve.

A total of around 600 projects have been identified across the components for Bharatmala. This will be financed by providing Rs. 0.97 lakhs crores from CRF and Rs. 0.59 lakhs crores as Gross Budgetary support.

In other to push rural connectivity, Rs 88,185 crore will be spent by the Centre and the states over the next next years and 1,09,302 km of rural roads to be laid to cover 36,434 habitations. The government has also sanctioned nearly Rs 11,000 crore towards the development of roads in states with left wing extremism.

"With the implementation of this programme, India could get the much needed cost competitiveness in the manufacturing sector by bringing down the logistics cost which is now one of the highest among the emerging markets and way above that prevalent in developed economies", Mint quoted Jagannarayan Padmanabhan, director and practice lead, transport and logistics at CRISIL Infrastructure Advisory as saying. The government will try to improve mobility through better road networks and rolling out of smart-tag based tolling.

Poor road conditions, narrow width as well as congested points have resulted in a truck covering on an average 250-300 km daily in India compared to 700-800 km in developed countries. "We have empowered the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to appraise, approve and bid out projects worth upto Rs 2,000 crore", he said.


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