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Bharatmala project: 5,700 km of projects awarded under the ambitious infrastructure project

Debjit Sinha

India is getting connected through highways! The Centre has been working closely with ruling dispensations in states to address and resolve issues pertaining to the land acquisition under the multi-crore Bharatmala project, a Ministry of Road Transport & Highways official has said. The Modi government has awarded 5,700 km of projects under the ambitious Bharatmala project, Nagendra Nath Sinha, MD of National Highways & Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited told CNBC-TV18.

What is Bharatmala project?

Bharatmala project is an umbrella programme undertaken by the Modi government. Under this mega project, 34,800 km of highways would be constructed at a cost of Rs 5.35 lakh crore.

Listing out the achievements of National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and MoRTH, Sinha said around 2,222 kms of road contracts have been awarded in the Financial Year 19. Around 3,400 km of roads were constructed in FY19 up from 3,071 kms built in FY18. Sinha said that NHAI has achieved appointed date for 93 hybrid annuity model (HAM) projects which were awarded in FY18. Sinha has underlined that there was an abundance of capital as fund availability was not an issue for land acquisition.

Earlier, Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari has said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government would focus on building a ‘world-class expressways’ network. Gadkari asserted that the central government was aiming to award work for around 6,000 kms under the Bharatmala initiative. In 2017, the Modi government approved an ambitious plan to create a modern roadways infrastructure network across India. A mega plan, including Bharatmala project, was envisaged under which 83,677 km of highways will be created in five years. The cost of the project stands at Rs 7 lakh crore. Gadkari in December last stated that 1.31 lakh km of National Highways was created till that point of time.