Cabinet approves construction of 84000 km roads at Rs 7 lakh crore

Road Ministry's Bharatmala Phase 1 proposal gets Centre's all-clear: Sources

According to sources, Arun Jaitley, the union finance minister is holding a press conference later today in New Delhi and he might announce the same.

Earlier, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari had said an umbrella programme for roads - Bharatmala - will hit the ground soon ending all existing highway projects, including the flagship NHDP.

The Bharatmala project will connect 17 States and include 44 economic corridors that will link border areas, improve worldwide, port and coastal connectivity besides developing highway corridors connecting key economic and commercial hubs.

Through the development of highways and roads, the government plans to bolster economic activity and generate at least 14.2 crore man-days across the country by 2022.

Lavasa said India's trade with its eastern neighbours will improve due to improvement in road infrastructure till border points.

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With the Centre set to bear around 70 per cent of the cost of this ambitious project, fuel cess, market borrowing, private investment and auctioning of completed highways is expected to cover the rest of the cost. In addition to 34,800 km under Bharatmala, the balance works of 48,877 km under ongoing schemes would be implemented in parallel by NHAI/ MoRTH with an outlay of Rs 1.57-lakh crore.

The government also approved the construction of 2,000 km of roads, along the eastern and western borders of the country to boost border roads and global connectivity. Out of this, Rs 1.35 lakh crore will be through the recapitalisation bonds, while remaining Rs 76,000 crore from the budgetary support, Financial Services Secretary Rajiv Kumar said here.

For the first time ever, monetisation of 82 operating highways under a low-risk TOT model has been initiated with a private investment potential of Rs 34,000 crore. The Bharatmala project envisages building 83,677 km of road across the country over the next five years to improve connectivity even in border and rural areas and ensure faster movement of cargo vehicles thereby lowering the logistics cost.

The government's new plan could significantly increase the average distance a truck covers daily in the country.

Boosting all-round connectivity, the government also approved construction of roads of 10,000 km. These economic corridors plan to open up India's hinterland for development.

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