Bharatmala Project is biggest ever road and highways development program taken by India. It is bigger than National Highway Development Programme (NHDP) started during Vajpayee government. Bharatmala is an umbrella scheme under which many other schemes, projects and programs are integrated. The project is under the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.
Transport infrastructure is the backbone of economy. And it is a vital linkage between consumer and producer. It is estimated that the impact of Bharatmala project after achieving its targets will be phenomenal on Indian Economy.
Also Read: Sagarmala Project for Port-led Industrialization .
Bharatmala Project is going to build approximately 25000 kilometers of roads (and also bridges) with an estimated cost of Rs. 2,67,200 . The target of project completion is in 2022.
The project is a good example to showcase the cooperative federalism; where the central government is making plan for the development of state subject roads.
Roads in India
India has the largest network of roads in the world, which is 52.32 lakh kilometers. The current rate of construction of new road is 18 km per day. Government is working on increasing it to 30 km per day.
Roads in India are divided into four categories namely – National Highways, State Highways, District Roads and Village Road. Out of this 52 lakh km of entire road network, the National Highways is only 2 percent (i.e. 1,00,475 km). However, National Highways are carrying 40 % of road traffic.
Bharatmala project is aimed at improving the percentage of better quality roads in this huge road network of India.
Components of Bharatmala Project
There are four components of Bharatmala scheme:
I. Development of State roads along coastal area, border area, special focus on connectivity of non-major ports –
About 7000 km of roads is to be constructed under this component of Bharatmala project. The estimated cost of Bharatmala project is Rs. 80,250 crore.
II. Backward Areas, Religious and Tourist Places Connectivity Programme –
As the name suggests its objective is to connect backward areas, religious and tourist places. This component is also aimed at building 7000 kms or new roads with an estimated cost of 85,250.
III. Setubharatam Pariyojana –
It is on of the major component of Bharatmala project. Setubharatam is aimed at elimination of the Railways crossing in India by constructing 1500 major bridges and 200 Railway over Bridges (RoBs) or Railway under Bridges (RuBs).
Railway crossings are slowing down the road transport and rail transport both. It has also ill impact over environment because of road traffic congestion bear crossing. In India average speed of passenger trains are running at average speed of 60 kms per hour (very slow). The Setubharatam Pariyojana will ensure the high speed road vehicular movement and train movement.
Deadline for the completion of Setubharatm Pariyojana is in 2019, which is three year before the completion of entire Bharatmala project (in 2022).
IV. District Headquarters Connectivity Scheme –
In the fourth component of Bharatmala project, 9000 kms of road will be constructed and declared as National Highway. The object is to provide better connectivity between district headquarters. The cost of this construction is estimated to be Rs. 60,000 crore. By declaring these district roads as National Highway government is trying to ensure its proper maintenance.
Test Your Knowledge about Bharatmala Project
1. Bharatmala and Sagarmala are projects under the ministry of Road Transport and Highway.
2. The estimated cost involved in completion of Bharatmala Project is about 2.6 lakh crore.
3. Consider the following statements –
I. The deadline for completion of Bharatmala project is 2022.
II. Deadline for completion of Setubharatam Pariyojana is 2020.
Choose the correct statement/s-
(a) I only
(b) II only
(c) both I and II
(d) none of these
4. National Highway contributes only 5% in the total road network of India.
5. There are around 1500 Railway over bridges or Railway under bridges are to be constructed under this project.
Answers: 1. (b) | 2. (a) | 3. (a) | 4. (b) | 5. (b)