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A massive highways program worth Rs 8 lakh crore will begin before the end of 2018 under Bharatmala Pariyojana says Transport minister Gadkari

The Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari said that a massive countrywide Highways program worth Rs 8 lakh crores will begin before the end of 2018 under the Bharat Mala Pariyojana. He was speaking to media persons in New Delhi on October 24, a day after the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved Phase I of Bharat Mala Pariyojana. Bharat Mala is a new umbrella program for the highways sector that focuses on optimizing efficiency of road traffic movement across the country by bridging critical infrastructure gaps.

Mri Gadkari said that Bharat Mala will be a major driver for economic growth in the country which and help realize Prime Minister Modi’s vision of a New India.

He said the program has been designed to bridge the gaps in the existing Highways infrastructure so as to make the movement of passengers and freight in a more efficient way. Special attention has been paid to fulfill the connectivity needs of the backward and tribal areas, areas of economic activity, places of religious and tourist interest, border areas, coastal areas and trade routes with neighbouring countries under the program.

The Minister also said that Bharat Mala will give the country 50 National Corridors as opposed to the 6 the country has at present. With the development of these corridors, 70 to 80 percent of freight will move along the National Highways as against the 40 percent at present. The program will help to connect 550 Districts in the country through NH linkages. Currently, only around 300 Districts have NH linkages.

Bharat Mala will also have a positive impact on the Logistic Performance Index (LPI) of the country. Apart from this, the program will also help generate a large number of direct and indirect employment in the construction activity, the development of highways amenities and also as part of the enhanced economic activity in different parts of the country that will result from better road  connectivity .

A total of around 24,800 kms are being considered in Phase I of Bharat Mala. In addition, Bharat Mala 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.

Bharat Mala Phase I – is to be implemented over a five years period  from 2017-18 to 2021-22. Components of Phase I and estimated expenditure are as follows : 

Sl. No.


Length -km

Outlay -Rs crore


Economic corridors development




Inter-corridor & feeder roads




National Corridors Efficiency improvements:




Border & International connectivity roads




Coastal & port connectivity roads
















Balance road works under NHDP











Bharat Mala envisages improving the efficiency of the National Corridor (Golden-Quadrilateral and North South and East West Corridor) by decongesting its choke points through Lane expansion, construction of Ring Roads, Bypasses and Elevated Corridors and Logistics Parks at identified points. Around 5,000 kms of the National Corridor will be taken up in Phase-I of Bharat Mala at an estimated cost of Rs 100,000 Crores.

The program has identified around 26,200 km of Economic Corridors or routes that have heavy freight traffic, of which 9,000 kms are being taken up for development in Phase-I at an estimated cost of Rs 1,20,000 Crore. It is planned to develop these Corridors end to end to ensure seamless and speedy travel and uniformity in standards.

Besides this, around 8,000 km of Inter-Corridors and around 7,500 km of Feeder Corridors have also been identified under Bharat Mala, of which around 6000 km will be developed in Phase I at an estimated cost of Rs 80,000 Crores. Stretches of roads connecting more than 2 corridors are classified as Inter-Corridors routes, while other routes connecting to 1 or 2 corridors are termed as Feeder Corridors. These corridors will be developed so as to address the infrastructure asymmetry that exists at many towns..

Bharat Mala also envisages building 3300 kms of Border Roads of strategic importance along international boundaries and 2000 km of International Connectivity roads to promote trade with Nepal,Bhutan, Bangladesh and Myanmar  Out of this around 2000 km will be taken up under   Phase-I at an estimated cost of Rs 25,000 Crore.

In addition to the above, around 2,100 km of coastal roads and 2000 km of Port Connectivity roads have been identified under Bharat Mala of which 2,000 kms are being taken up under Phase-I at an estimated cost of Rs 20,000 crore.

About 1,900 km of stretches have been identified for development of Green-field Expressways of which around 800 kms will be taken up under Phase-I of the program at an estimated cost of Rs.40,000 crore. The 10,000 km of balance road work under NHDP will be completed at a cost of Rs 1,50,000 crore.

The identification of the project stretches under the various components of Bharat Mala has been done based on detailed O-D(Origin-Destination) study, freight flow projections and verification of the identified infrastructure gaps through geo mapping, using data from Bhaskaracharya Institute for Space Applications and Geo-Informatics (BISAG) as well as from other sources. The Origin Destination study has also taken into account integration of Economic Corridors with the ongoing projects under NHDP and infrastructure asymmetry in major Corridors.

In addition to Rs. 5,35,000 Crore for Bharat Mala Phase-I, there is a requirement of    Rs. 1,57,324 crore for Ongoing schemes under implementation in the Highways Sector. Thus, the overall outlay for Bharat Mala and all existing schemes put together will be Rs 6,92,324 Crore over a period of 5 years.

Gross Budgetary Support for the Bharat Mala program and existing schemes from 2017-18 to 2021--22 will be restricted to Rs. 2,37,024 crore from Central Road Fund (CRF), Rs 59,973 Crore as Budgetary support and Rs. 46,048 crore collected as Toll-Permanent Bridge Fee Fund (PBFF) by National Highway Authority of India.

All projects implemented under Bharat Mala are to be technically, financially and economically appraised by an empowered Project Appraisal &Technical Scrutiny Committee to be setup in NHAI and Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. The Committee would comprise experts from NITI Aayog, and would be a dedicated unit which would place its recommendations on appraisal of projects to NHAI Board or Secretary, MoRTH, as the case may be,

Guidelines have been laid down for scrutiny of individual projects which are to be followed by all implementing agencies

Grand Challenge mechanism is to be adopted to encourage State Government participation in implementation of the program. Projects that are supported by pro active effort by the concerned State Governments shall be taken up on priority basis.

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