Indias Mega Projects! How Bharatmala Project Is Promise Of A New India?

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The Logical Indian Crew

India's Mega Projects! How Bharatmala Project Is Promise Of A New India?

The umbrella initiative of the Ministry of Road Transport and highways envisions building 83,677 km of highways at the projected cost of ₹5.5 lakh crore.

Bharatmala Project is famously known as India's garland project and is a centrally sponsored initiative of the Indian government. Under the genesis of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, the Bharatmala project is an umbrella project to improve the country's road infrastructure. It would subsume all the existing road projects.

The mammoth project would provide India with 50 national corridors, which would provide better transportation for over 70 to 80 per cent of the carriers, as opposed to the current 40 per cent. Improvement of the golden quadrilateral and the North-South and East-West corridors are the key agendas of the centrally sponsored project.

Main Stakeholders Of The Project

The critical stakeholders for the Bharatmala project are the National Highways Development Project (NHDP), the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Shipping and Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation. The project would focus on lane expansion, construction of ring-roads, bypasses, logistics parks and elevated corridors for a smooth vehicular movement. It is set to connect 550 districts of the country with National Highways, whereas currently, only 300 districts form a part of the national highway circuit.

The government aims to develop multimodal logistics parks and eliminate choke points, to improve the efficiency of the existing corridors. The project would elevate the synergies through inland waterways that the development of the northeastern corridor would follow.

For any developing country, the Logistics Performance Index (LPI)acts as a benchmarking tool to identify the challenges and opportunities in line with the project's vision. Therefore, the Bharatmala project is India's bet for improved performance in the LPI. The project is divided into seven phases because of the sheer magnitude of the task. The main emphasis is on improved technology and scientific planning for asset monitoring and project preparation. The first phase of the Bharatmala project is expected to conclude by 2022.

Total Length For The First Phase

The total length of road development in the first phase of the Bharatmala project is 34,800 kilometres. Out of the total, the economic corridors would comprise the maximum share of 9,000 kilometres. The inter-corridor and feeder routes are calculated at nearly 6,000 km, and 5,000 km would fall under the National Corridors Efficiency Program. Apart from the bifurcation as mentioned earlier, the project is also set to keep aside about 2,000 km for coastal and port connectivity roads. The expressway of nearly 800 km and a massive 10,000 km would fall under the NHDP roads.

The development of these highways is expected to increase the average speed of the vehicles by 18 per cent and reduce the chain cost of transportation by a significant 6 per cent. The Union cabinet had nodded to the humongous projects and had allocated a fund of ₹6.92 lakh crore, out of which the Bharatmala Pariyojana shared ₹5.35 lakh crore, The Indian Express reported. The project is expected to provide millions of employment opportunities. Only the road construction procedure was expected to reel out 100 million person-days of work, only to be followed by another 22 million jobs because of increased economic activity in the country.

What Lies Ahead?

In 2020, the Union government had declared that they had already constructed 2,921 km of highways under the Bharatmala Pariyojana. While the Bharatmala project is one of India's best bets at its mega projects and has officially declared successful construction of a vast stretch of the road network, one cannot undermine that all the planning had happened before the world experienced the widespread health pandemic.

Currently, the country is reeling under the pandemic's economic stress, and the majority of the population is seeking better employment opportunities to sustain themselves. Therefore, watching how the government paves through the administration and implementation of one of India's most ambitious infrastructure development projects would be interesting.

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Writer : Ratika Rana
Editor : Ankita Singh
Creatives : Ratika Rana

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