The Bharatmala is designed as an umbrella program that will subsume unfinished components of NHDP besides focusing on some new projects. A total fund of Rs 10 trillion (Rs 10 lakh crores) is to be allocated in different phases to complete the components of the programme. Besides completing the NHDP projects, new efforts like development of Border and International connectivity roads, Coastal and port connectivity roads, National Corridors Efficiency improvements, Economic corridors development etc., will be part of Bharatmala.
Networking of identified economic corridors (so far 44 economic corridors were identified) with high quality roads is the chief feature of Bharatmala. Besides, the coastal areas and the hinterland areas will be connected through national highways. Phase I of the programme covers an aggregate length of 24,800 kms needing a fund requirement of Rs. 3,85,000 crores. Public Investment Board has ratified the project and the first phase is expected to be launched soon.
Components of Bharat Mala Project:
- Construction of national highways through coastal/border areas, ports, backward areas, religious and tourist sites.
- Border and coastal connectivity will cover 7,000 kms of National Highways at an estimated cost of Rs 80,000 Crore.
- Construction, strengthening and widening of approximately 1,500 major bridges and 200 Railway Over Bridges (ROBs)/Railway Under Bridges (RUBs) on national highways.
- Improvement of the newly declared National Highways providing better connectivity to district headquarters.
- Improving connectivity to Char Dham i.e. the pilgrimage sites of Kedarnath, Badrinath, Yamunothri & Gangothri in Uttarakhand.
- Enhancing freight traffic along the identified 44 economic (freight) corridors, inter-corridors and feeder-routes for development. The corridors include, among others, Mumbai-Kochi-Kanyakumari, Bengaluru-Mangaluru, Hyderabad-Panaji and Sambalpur-Ranchi.
- Upgrading roads with dividers, pedestrian ways, underpasses, and installation of signaling and lighting systems.
- Use of the Border Roads Organization (BRO) services to build roads on rougher terrain.
Funding of Bharatmala
Government will fund most of the Bharat Mala Project using budgetary support through Central Road Fund. Besides, the government funding, works will also be taken up in the public-private partnership (PPP) mode. Existing PPP models in the road sector like Build-Operate-Transfer (Toll), BOT (Annuity) and Hybrid Annuity Mode (HAM) as well as under Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) will be adopted. The project is targeted to be completed by 2022.