Rs 7 lakh cr for building 84,000 km of roads

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 25 Oct 2017 09:26:03



Funds to be raised from market, road fund and toll collection

THE Government on Tuesday approved a mega plan to build 83,677 km of highways over the next five years at a cost of about Rs 7 lakh crore which includes the ambitious Bharatmala project, the biggest ever after NHDP.

The Rs 6.92 lakh crore highway projects, approved by the Union Cabinet, will generate 14.2 crore mandays of jobs and also include Bharatmala project, an umbrella programme for roads under which 34,800 km of highways will be constructed at a cost of Rs 5.35 lakh crore, the Government said.

The announcement comes barely few months after Union Minister Nitin Gadkari told PTI that an umbrella programme for roads - Bharatmala - will hit the ground soon subsuming all existing highway projects, including the flagship National Highways Development Project (NHDP).

Terming Bharatmala as “connecting India like never before”, the PMO said the Rs 5.35 lakh km project will include 9,000 km of economic corridors to unlock full economic potential, 6,000 km of inter-corridor and feeder routes, 5,000 km of national corridors efficiency improvement, 2,000 km of border road connectivity, 800 km of expressways and 10,000 km of balance NHDP projects.

Addressing the media after the Cabinet meeting, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the Government has consistently increased public expenditure on infrastructure in order to boost employment and provide renewed impetus to economic growth. Taking forward its commitment to providing more efficient transportation, the Government has debottlenecked the roads sector and significantly stepped up the highway development and road building programme, he said.

Jaitley said in order to further optimise the efficiency of movement of goods and people across the country, the Government is launching a new umbrella programme and this road building programme for 83,677 km involves capex of Rs 6.92 lakhs crores over the next 5 years.

The Government said Bharatmala works have been proposed for completion in five years by 2021-22 through NHAI, NHIDCL, MoRTH and state PWDs and substantial delegation of powers has been provided to NHAI, NHIDCL and the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways to enable speedy implementation. On funding of Bharatmala project, the Government said, “Rs 2.09 lakh crore will be raised as debt from the market, Rs 1.06 lakh crore of private investments would be mobilised through PPP and Rs 2.19 lakh crore is to be provided out of accruals to the Central Road Fund (CRF), ToT Monetisation proceeds and Toll collections of NHAI.”

In addition to 34,800 km under Bharatmala, balance works of 48,877 km of highway projects under other current schemes will be implemented in parallel by NHAI/MoRTH with an outlay of Rs 1.57 lakh crore.