BharatMala will put more freight on roads

  • BharatMala will put more freight on roads

BharatMala will put more freight on roads

The government has earlier said that it is giving special attention to infrastructure development projects, such as road, rail, communication, and telecom network in the North- East.

The project would be funded through various sources, including Rs 2.09 lakh crore from the market, Rs 1.06 lakh crore through private investment, and Rs 2.19 lakh crore from the Central Road Fund or toll collection.

Finance minister Arun Jaitley addresses the media and gives announcement regarding this mega project in a post-cabinet media.

In arguably the country's biggest ever highway development plan, the Union Cabinet is learnt to have approved a proposal to develop and expand approximately 83,000 km of roads at an investment of Rs 6.9 lakh crore in the next five years.

Bharatmala is the second-largest highways project after National Highway Development Programme (NHDP) that saw the development of about 50,000 km, and aims at improving the connectivity in border and other areas. The purposes of this project will include connecting economic corridors, boosting border and global connectivity, as well as connecting coastal roads and inter-linking ports.

Bharatmala is an "umbrella" programme of the ministry to enhance road connectivity across country while Sagarmala is the government's flagship programme to develop and modernise ports along the coast line.

The roads that would be built under Bharatmala will include state highways, national highways, and some state roads across the country. According to government estimates, construction of 10,000 km of highways annually has the potential of generating four crore man-days of work.

Of the proposed Rs1.45 lakh crore investment, the government plans to invest about Rs48,000 crore in Assam, Rs22,000 crore in Manipur and Rs20,000 crore in Nagaland for building roads. "The government is committed to maintaining a balance between fiscal prudence and capital spending to push growth".

The Centre simultaneously also announced today that it would be recapitalising public sector banks with a fund infusion of Rs 2 lakh 11 thousand crore. It could well be the biggest announcement ahead of the Election Commission's declaration of the dates for the Gujarat polls.