- India has about 54.82 lakh km of road network, which is the second largest in the world in terms of length.
- National Highways (NHs) constitute about 2% of the total road network, but carry about 40% of the total road traffic.
- The National Highway Development Program, was spread across Phase-I to VII, is the most significant program taken up so far by MO Road Transport Highways.
- NHDP has unfinished stretches of 10,000 kms will be subsumed in Bharatmala and implemented as an integrated program.
What is it?
- Bharatmala, a new umbrella program à primary focus à optimizing the efficiency of the movement of goods and people
- This program envisages a corridor approach in place of the existing package-based approach which has, in many cases, resulted in skewed development (economic corridors complemented by inter corridor and feeder routes)
- Economic Corridors: – Corridors of Economic importance are expected to carry 25% of freight in the coming years.
- National Corridors Efficiency Improvement:
- The Golden-Quadrilateral and NS-EW corridors carry 35% of India’s freight and would be declared as National corridors.
- Ring Road + bypasses/ elevated corridors + lane expansion +Logistics Parks would also be developed at strategic locations to enhance logistics efficiency.
- Border and International connectivity roads:
- Around 2,000 km of roads are required for connecting India’s major highway corridor to International trade points so as to facilitate Export-Import (EXIM) trade with our neighbors: Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Myanmar. Around 2,000 kms are being taken up under this category in Phase-I of Bharatmala.
The project will be implemented through National Highway Authority of India, National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation limited MoRTH and state PWDs.