The government has approved a massive overhaul of the country’s road network and has earmarked around ₹7,00,000 crore to develop 83,677km by 2022. The Bharatmala Pariyojana, which was announced at the same time, will see 34,800km of highways constructed at the cost of ₹5,35,000 crore under Phase-1. Under the Bharatmala project, there will be 44 new economic corridors covering a distance of 9,000km connecting major cities and economic hubs in the country.
Transport Minister, Nitin Gadkari, said, “Roads built under India’s ambitious Bharatmala programme will increase Vehicle Travelling speed by around 20-25 percent, which will help reduce logistics costs.” He added that road safety will get a major boost, cutting road accident fatalities by 50 percent.
The government has also promised to build 800km of expressways to reduce travel time between major cities. Road Transport and Highways Secretary, Yudhvir Singh Malik, said, “With Bharatmala, 550 districts will get linked to national highways as against 300 districts at present. We will have 50 economic corridors against the existing six.”
The Bharatmala Pariyojana (BMP) will commence by end-2018.