What is Bharatmala Pariyojana? What are the features of Bharatmala Pariyojana? How does budget allocation take place in this project? What are the challenges of the Bharatmala Project? Read below to know more about it.
The development of any nation depends on the transportation networks and the ways in which they are being maintained.
For connecting the areas and maintaining a smooth flow of traffic, the construction of new and developed roads is a must. The same will be achieved with the implementation of the Bharatmala Pariyojana project.
What is Bharatmala Pariyojana?
Bharatmala Pariyojana is a new umbrella program for the highways sector envisaged by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways that focuses on optimizing the efficiency of freight and passenger movement across the country.
Efficiency is enhanced by bridging critical infrastructure gaps through effective interventions like the 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.
Under Phase-I of Bharatmala Pariyojana, the implementation of 34,800 km of national highways in 5 years (from 2017 to 2022) has been approved at an estimated outlay of Rs. 5,35,000 crore.
Key features of the Bharatmala Pariyojana
The scheme was initiated to improve road traffic and improve trade through road transportation. Some other key features of the Bharatmala Pariyojana include:
- The Bharatmala project envisions improving the efficiency of the National Corridor including the Golden-Quadrilateral and North, South –East West corridors by decongesting the choke points through the construction of elevated corridors, bypasses, ring roads, lane expansion, and logistics parks at identified points.
- The project plan includes the construction of Border Roads of strategic importance along international boundaries and International Connectivity roads to promote trade with Myanmar, Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Nepal.
- The program has identified around 26,200 km of Economic Corridors or routes that have heavy freight traffic. The program has planned to develop the identified Economic Corridors with heavy freight traffic, end to end to ensure seamless, speedy travel and uniformity in standards. Feeder Corridors will be developed to address the infrastructure asymmetry that exists in many places.
- All projects implemented under Bharatmala are to be technically, financially, and economically appraised by an empowered Project Appraisal & Technical Scrutiny Committee to be set up in the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH).
- Emphasis on the use of scientific and technological planning for Project Preparation and Asset Monitoring.
- Satellite mapping of corridors to identify up-gradation requirements.
- Delegation of powers to expedite project delivery for successful completion of Phase I by 2022.
Budget Allocation of Bharatmala Pariyojana
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.
All key aspects of the scheme will be managed by the Road Transport and Highways Ministry of the country.
The government will mobilize resources for Bharatmala through four different routes:
- Market borrowings
- Central road fund
- Monetizing government-owned road assets
- Budgetary allocation.
Bharatmala Project components
- Economic Corridor –These are integrated networks of infrastructure within a geographical area designed to stimulate economic development. As per the guidelines of the road construction project, the construction of 9000kms of Economic Corridors will be undertaken by the central government. One of the key focus of Bharatmala Pariyojana.
- Feeder Route or Inter Corridor – The total length of the roads, which fall under the Feeder Route or Inter Corridor category, is a whopping 6000kms.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Green Field Expressway –They lack constraints imposed by prior work on the site. Typically, it entails development on a completely vacant site and architects start completely from scratch. The main stress will be given to the construction and development of the Green Field Expressway for better management of traffic and freight.
- Brownfield Projects–They carry constraints related to the current state of the site and might be contaminated or have existing structures that architects have to tear down or modify in some way before the project can move forward.
- Balance NHDP Works – Under the last segment, the project will see the construction and maintenance of about 10,000kms new roads.
- To generate a large number of direct and indirect employment opportunities in the construction and infrastructure sector and also as part of the enhanced economic activity resulting from better road connectivity across the country.
- To connect 550 districts in the country through national highway linkages.
Challenges of the Bharatmala Project
The Bharatmala Pariyojana was announced in 2017 and was targeted to get completed by 2022. However, the latest reports suggest that the project currently is nowhere close to completion because of the increased land cost and the increase in the estimated budget for the project.
The Central Government is now looking in for more investments from funds collected from the market and any other private investment. If the estimated budget is not met, then the Government intends to auction completed highway projects or even look for foreign debts and bond markets.
Article written by Aseem Muhammed