Looking Back At Indias Five Mega Projects Conceptualised In 2021

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Looking Back At India's Five Mega Projects Conceptualised In 2021

Amidst the pandemic, India has been working on several mega projects with a major focus on infrastructure.

Since 2019, the coronavirus has halted not only our daily lives but also the country's progress as a whole. In 2021, India too has been taking its staggering steps towards steady progress and has been working on multiple mega projects for the country's growth.

With infrastructure being a core element of growth in the country, many new projects were started around it. As the year is coming to an end, let's have a look at some of the prominent mega projects undertaken by the government of India which are on their path to completion.

Mumbai–Ahmedabad High-Speed Rail Corridor

Mumbai- Ahmedabad high-speed corridor project, also known as the bullet train project of India, is India's first high-speed rail project which is under construction and will be connecting Mumbai and Ahmedabad. The project was expected to commence by April 2020 and to be finished by December 2023, but due to delays in buying land and the pandemic slowing things down, the project is now estimated to be completed by October 2028.

The rail will be extending to a 508-kilometre stretch with 352 km lies in Gujarat (348 km), and Dadra and Nagar Haveli (4 km) and balance 156 km lies in Maharashtra. The total expenditure of the project is estimated to be about ₹ 72,000 crores for land and construction in Gujarat and so far, the expenditure has come up to ₹ 14,200 crores as per a report by Swarajya. According to The National High-Speed Rail Corporation (NHSRCL), this project will generate direct and indirect employment of 60,000 in Gujarat alone.

The project will be going solar with 'Grid Connected Rooftop Solar Projects' planned to be set up at various stations, starting with the rail terminal to come up at Sabarmati. The proposed plan at Sabarmati station will have solar panels on the roof of the stations with a proposed 'Charkha' symbol and solar panels also on the side of the building with the iconic symbol of the Salt March by Mahatma Gandhi and his followers in 1930. The NHSRCL invited tenders for the solar project at Sabarmati station, saying the project will be awarded under the RESCO model for a period of 25 years, reported News18.

Hyperloop Project

The hyperloop is a mode of transport that is expected to travel at a speed of over 1200 km per hour. Unlike regular vehicles that use wheels, the pods of the hyperloop are designed to levitate to travel. The Mumbai-Pune Hyperloop will be a modern and superfast transport project which will be implemented to connect the two cities located approximately 200 kilometers apart. The time estimated to travel between the two cities with the hyperloop transport is down to only 25 minutes, while it currently takes 3.5 hours to travel. The pod carrying about 24-28 people at once runs on a frictionless path at high speed.

The Hyperloop is also an on-demand system and gives point-to-point access, directly reaching the destination which means that it does not stop at stations in between two destinations. Richard Branson's Virgin Group hopes to have a functional Hyperloop in India by the year 2029. The hyperloop which will be running on a pilot basis for a distance of around 11 km in the first phase, will be built at a cost of USD 500 million dollars. The second phase being the commercial phase of the system has been estimated at a cost of USD 8-9 billion dollars, as per the Financial Express report. The hyperloop is expected to reduce congestion on the main highway and aims to reduce accidents by safe means of transport.

Char-Dham Highway And Railway Project

Char Dham National Highway is an under-construction two-lane express National Highway with a minimum width of 10 meters in Uttarakhand. The under-construction highway will complement the under-construction Char Dham Railway by connecting the four holy places in Uttarakhand states namely Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri, and Yamunotri. The project includes 900 km national highways which will connect the whole of Uttarakhand state. The foundation stone was laid by PM Modi in 2016 and the estimated cost came up to Rs. 12,000 crores. The highway will include several long bridges and tunnels to reduce accidents and slide-prone areas.

Char Dham Railway, which will be complementing the highway, is a twin railway line project connecting the holy site, Chota Char Dham from the existing Doiwala railway station near Dehradun to Gangotri and Yamunotri and another set of twin rail links from the upcoming railway station at Karnaprayag to Kedarnath and Badrinath. The line is also of strategic military importance and has been designated as a national project. This line of railway is the most challenging as it has to cut through mountainous regions a large number of tunnels and high bridges and severe cold weather in flood, landslide, and earthquake-prone high altitude mountainous areas. Char Dham Railway project's 327 km long construction, costing Rs. 43,292 crore began in 2017 and both the projects are estimated to be completed by 2022.

Mumbai-Delhi Expressway

The world's longest expressway will be connecting Mumbai and Delhi and extends to a 1380 km eight-lane highway and is expected to open by March 2023. The highway passes through Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Gujarat and will reduce the time travel between the cities to 12 hours from the current estimated time which is 24 hours. The expenditure of the project is Rs. 98,000 crores and the first phase from Delhi-Jaipur (Dausa)-Lalsot and Vadodara-Ankleshwar is expected to open to commuting by March 2022. The expressway is to be completed by March 2023 as per The Indian Express report. The project has created employment for thousands of civil engineers and about 50 lakh labor workers.

The expressway is the first in Asia and the second in the world to feature animal overpasses to facilitate unrestricted movement of wildlife. The expressway will also include two eight-lane tunnels, one tunneling through Mukundra sanctuary without disturbing the endangered fauna in the region for 4 km, and the second 4 km eight-lane tunnel will pass through the Matheran eco-sensitive zone. The expressway will result in annual fuel savings of more than 320 million litres and reduce CO2 emissions by 850 million kg which is equivalent to the planting of 40 million trees. Over two million trees and shrubs are planted alongside the highway as well.

Metro Across Cities

New metro lines are being extended across 20 plus cities in India, making travel more accessible and affordable for the public. Many projects are being undertaken in phases to install metro lines and extend current metro lines across many cities. There are also several proposed projects awaiting approval from the government. Most Indian metro projects are being developed in phases (example. Delhi Metro which is now on Phase 4) while others are being developed by line as the funds are arranged (example. Mumbai Metro where 169 km of lines are currently under construction). PM Modi has announced that by 2025, a total of 25 states will have access to metro services. Some of the cities which will be getting new metro lines are Agra, Kanpur, Meerut, Ahmedabad, Kochi, Pune, and Patna.

Currently, metro lines extend to about 500 km in the country and by 2047 it is expected to extend to about 10 folds, up to 5000 km as reported by Hindustan Times. Before the pandemic, about 8.5 million people had access to metro lines and used them for the daily commute, but the pandemic gave a huge blow to transport which has reduced the commute number to 3.5 million. Currently, India's Metro network is the fifth-largest globally, with metro trains operating in cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkatta, Chennai, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kochi, Gurugram, Lucknow, etc.

Also Read: Fairwork India Ratings 2021: Flipkart Tops List, Ride-Sharing Apps Perform Poorly

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Writer : Harshitha V
Editor : Ankita Singh
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