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National Highway Projects More Near and Dear To The Modi Government

By GovernanceToday
In Editorial
January 10, 2018
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when the Modi government took over more than three years back, highways accounted for only 96,000 km out of 52 lakh km road network in the country. Presently, India boasts to have 1, 50,000 km of highways.The Ministry of Raod Transport & Highways has set a target of two lakh km of highways in the country by 2022. The ministry hopes that it will help divert 50 percent of the traffic from city to highways and also on the way to increase the road
construction target of 40 km daily to meet in next two years to present 30 km of roads, which are
being constructed daily in the country. The Ministry of Road Transport & Highways also
plans to invest the target of Rs 5 lakh crore by this year and had already invested over Rs 3 lakh
crore. In Union Budget 2017, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced enhancing the outlay for National Highways by 11 percent to Rs 64,000 crore. Be it the ambitious Chardham Project or the Bharatmala The project, the Modi government is focussing a lot on development and expansion of highways. The Chardham dream project at Rs 12,000 crore of the Modi government is likely to be completed by the end of 2018 The other hobby horse of the Modi government is first highway project-North East Express Highway- in the northeastern region will be developed along the Brahmaputra river in Assam at an estimated investment of Rs 40,000 crore. This 1300-km express highway will be axis-controlled and vehicles will be able to ply at very high speed. Bharatmala Project at Rs 14,000 crore project close to the Modi government’s heart linking India’s vast west-to-east land border. The project will start from Gujarat and Rajasthan, move to Punjab and then cover the entire string of Himalayan states. In a way, this road network will garland the entire country. The government is planning to finish this project in 5 years. And yet another feather in a cap of the Modi government is Setu Bharatam project at Rs 50,800-crore, which was launched by Prime Minister, Narendra Modi in March 2016 with an aim to make all national highways free of railway crossings by 2019. Under the project, 208 railway crossings will be replaced by rail over bridges (ROBs) at an estimated cost of Rs 20,800 crore. Also, 1,500 bridges of the British era across the country will be overhauled for around Rs 30,000 crore. Recently, the Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari said that the Delhi- Jaipur express highway would be built at a cost of Rs 18,000 crore. The advanced cement-concrete 225-km the express highway will be the second in the country after the Mumbai-Pune express highway. The Union minister said that Mumbai-Baroda express highway is also in the plan.

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