Bharatmala Pariyojana to reshape India’s Highways The road transportation is always the preferred option for traders as well as commuters for its cost-effectiveness. Over the decades the volume of trade has seen a rise. And, there are a lot of hints that the same pace would continue in the coming years, giving a clarion call to the government to gear up. In response to the changing landscape of the trade on Indian highways, the Government of India has started introducing new programs and projects to breathe new life into the existing roadways and national highways in India. In the year 1998, the government of India had launched the National Highways Development Project (NHDP) to upgrade the national highway network of India. The revamped version of the NHDP was launched by the government of India in 2015 with a name “Bharatmala Pariyojana”. The NHDP was implemented by the government of India through the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), which is a statutory body established through the National Highways Authority of India Act, 1988. NHAI works under the aegis of Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH). It has been tasked to manage the Bharatmala program in which the NHDP got subsumed. Under the Bharatmala Pariyojana, the government is planning to reshape around 83,677 Km of roadways with an estimated outlay of Rs 5.35 lakh crores in 5 Years (2017-22). This program is aimed at improving the economic integration of India. There are a total of 6 components of this program namely: National Corridors Efficiency Improvement- Under this component, the existing highways’ lanes will be expanded to carry the increasing volume of trade. It also aims at de-congestion of Golden Quadrilateral and NS-EW corridors. 13,100 Km of roadways were identified to be developed under this component. In the first phase, the implementing authority proposed to work on 5,000 Km. Expressways- This kind of roadways is very important to every developing economy. Expressways enable traders and commuters to cut travel time and cost as well. Under the Bharatmala program, the government is planning to develop 1900 Km of Greenfield expressways. In the first phase, around 800 Km of expressways will be developed. Coastal and Port Connectivity Roads- This component of the Bharatmala Pariyojana complement the government’s ambitious program “Sagarmala program”. To boost seaports led economic activity, the connectivity between hinterlands and seaports is essential. Under this program, four thousand one hundred Kilometres of the road network was identified to be developed. 2,000 Km of roadways will be developed in the first phase. Border and International Connectivity Roads- This component of the Bharatmala Pariyojana will augment the government’s efforts to boost the international trade by improving the connectivity to the border areas. Till date, around five thousand three hundred kilometres have been identified under this component. In the first phase, 2,000 Km will be upgraded.
Inter-corridor and Feeder routes development- This component would ensure first mile and last mile connectivity and also the connection between economic corridors. In the first phase, development of six thousand Kilometres out of the identified 15,500 Km of roadways will be taken up. Economic corridors development- This component of the program aims at connecting important trade and economic centres. A total length of 26,200 Km of roadways was already identified to be developed and in the first phase around 9,000 Km would be developed. Many technically advanced processes were used to identify the length of the roads to be developed under this program. The government of India is striving hard to meet its targets. If met, then it would be a landmark achievement in the history of India. #IndiasHighways #NHAI #BharatmalaPariyojna #Morth