BHARATMALA

Bharatmala Pariyojana is a new umbrella program for the highways sector that focuses on optimizing efficiency of freight and passenger movement across the country by bridging critical infrastructure gaps. Bharatmala will fill this gap 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 Green-field expressways.

BACKGROUND

The development of any nation depends on the transportation networks and the ways in which they are being maintained. The same holds true for the development of a huge and populous nation like India. For connecting the areas and maintaining smooth flow of traffic, the construction of new and developed roads are a must. The same will be achieved with the implementation of the Bharatmala project.

Under the scheme, a host of new roads will be laid down in the nation. All key aspects of the scheme will be managed by the Road Transport and Highways Ministry of the country.

KEY FEATURES OF THE SCHEME

1.Improving the quality of roads – The launch of the scheme has been done for bring a new wave of development in the nation in the form of well-maintained and developed roads. Under this project, the construction of roads, in all parts of the nation will be undertaken.
2.Total road construction – As per the draft of the scheme, government and the ministry will strive to complete new roads, which will add up to a whopping 34, 800 kms.
3.Integrated scheme – The Bharatmala is the name that is given to the road development and it will include many other related schemes as well. With the completion of all the schemes, the overall success of the scheme will be guaranteed.
4.Total tenure of the program –The central government has the plans of finishing the scheme within a span of five years. Thus, all is set for finishing the first phase before the end of 2022.
5.Segmentation in phases – Due to the sheer magnitude and spread of the scheme, it will be divided into seven distinct phases. As of now, the first phase in under construction.
6.Constriction on a daily basis – To finish the first phase in time, the respective department has made efforts of constructing at least 18 km of path on a daily basis. To beat the clock, continued efforts are being made to raise it to 30 km/day.
7.Different categories of road construction – It has been highlighted in the official draft of the scheme that to provide better connectivity, the construction of various categories of roads will be undertaken.
8.Multi-source of finding – One source will not be enough for funding a mammoth project. Thus, the government will have to depend on other sources for generating adequate money to meet the expenses.
9.Improvement in efficiency -of existing corridors through development of Multimodal Logistics Parks and elimination of choke point
10.Emphasis on use of technology & scientific planning -for Project Preparation and Asset Monitoring
11.Delegation of powers -to expedite project delivery – Phase I to complete by 2022
12.Improving connectivity in the North East.

BUDGET ALLOCATION

A total of around 24,800 kms are being considered in Phase I of Bharatmala. In addition, Bharatmala Pariyojana phase -I also includes 10,000 kms of balance road works under NHDP, taking the total to 34,800 kms at an estimated cost of Rs.5,35,000 crore. Bharatmala Phase I – is to be implemented over a five years period of i.e. 2017-18 to 2021-22.

COMPONENTS

1.Economic Corridor – As per the guidelines of the road construction project, the construction of 9000 kms of Economic Corridors will be undertaken by the central government.
2.Feeder Route or Inter Corridor – The total length of the roads, which fall under the Feeder Route or Inter Corridor category, is a whopping 6000 kms.
3.National Corridor Efficiency Improvement – 5000kms of roads, constructed under the scheme will fall in the category of National Corridor for the better connection between roads.
4.Border Road and International Connectivity – Connecting the cities and remote areas, which are situated in the border regions, the project has kept provision for constructing 2000kms roads that fall in the Border Road or International Connectivity category.
5.Port Connectivity and Coastal Road – To connect the areas that are dotted along the shorelines and important ports, the central government has ordered the construction of 2000km of roads.
6.Green Field Expressway – The main stress will be given on the construction and development of Green Field Expressway for better management of traffic and freight.
7.Balance NHDP Works(10000 km of roads) – The ambitious umbrella programme will subsume all existing highway projects including the flagship National Highways Development Project (NHDP), launched by the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government in 1998.
8.Logistics parks- 24 logistics parks entailing 45% of India’s freight traffic have been identified to be connected by Bharatmala economic corridors (EC), to develop hub-and-spoke model.
9.North East Economic corridor- will connect 7 state capitals and 7 multimodal waterways terminals on Brahmaputra on the bharatmala route.

IMPACT

It is both enabler and beneficiary of other key Government of India schemes, such as Sagarmala, Dedicated Freight Corridors, Industrial corridors, UDAN-RCS, BharatNet, Digital India and Make in India. Bharatmala will significantly boost highway infrastructure:
1.Raise 6 NC corridors to 50 corridors (6 NC and 44 EC)
2.Raise 40% freight to 80% freight on National Highways
3.Raise 300 districts to 550 districts connected by minimum 4-lane highways.

IMPLEMENTATION PHASES

1.Phase 1: 34,800 km by December 2019.
2.Phase-II: 48,877 km

Bharatmala 2.0 (Phase-II)

Under the second phase of Bharatmala, the government has proposed-

1.To build nearly 3,000 km of expressways, including Varanasi-Ranchi-Kolkata, Indore-Mumbai, Bengaluru-Pune and Chennai-Trichy.

2. Building 4000 km greenfield roads.

The target date for rolling out these roads totalling around 4,000 km under the Bharatmala phase-II would be 2024.