Bharat Mala Project was started in India in 2017. Under this, the Government of India was going to start a big national infrastructure project. Under which India’s infrastructure was to be strengthened. It was to make doing business even easier. With this vision, Bharat Mala Project started in 2017. India is going to lay a network of 24500 km long roads under Bharat Mala Project. Apart from this, 10000 km long highway is also to be constructed. Which is part of the National Highway Transportation Project.
If any country has to strengthen itself, then it is necessary that its fundamentals should be strong. For this, it is necessary that all the transportation road railway network should be firmly established. And the cost of transportation is as low as possible. That’s better. Keeping this in mind, Bharatmala project has been started for India. Which could prove to be a milestone.
Why Bharat Mala Project has been started in India
Now the question arises here that why the Bharat Mala project was needed in India? India is a growing economy. And it is continuously increasing. Whereas India’s infrastructure is much weaker than that. To advance the economy of any country, it is necessary to have strong infrastructure.
To strengthen the economy of any country, railways, road transportation and water transport play an important role. If these three are combined together, then a good and economically strong country can be made. Keeping this in mind, Bharat Mala Project has been started in India.
What will India gain from Bharat Mala Project?
The Bharat Mala Project was approved by the National Cabinet on 25 October 2017. This is the biggest project in our country after the National Highway Transportation Project. In which emphasis has been laid on the strengthening of infrastructure.
Under the National Highway Mission, about 50000 km long highway network has been constructed in our country. Now the second part of it has started. Under this, emphasis has been laid on further strengthening connectivity across the country. Apart from this, cargo movement will also move at a faster rate than this. This will boost economic activities in India.
100 million days of employment will be generated in India through this project. Apart from this 22 million jobs will be generated through this entire project. Which will be permanent employment. This will solve India’s unemployment problem to a great extent.
Where to provide funding to Bharat Mala Project
Now the question that arises here is whether the Bharat Mala Project should be ?
Where will the funding be provided? The Bharat Mala project is planned to be funded through multiple channels. First of all, there will be budget allocation. A large amount of budget provision will be made for the Bharat Mala project. So that this project can get momentum. Apart from this, the Government of India has also decided to take loans from foreign and domestic channels for the Bharat Mala project.
The Bharat Mala project will not be a mere government project. Rather, the private sector will also be given an opportunity to invest in it. It is expected that around 50% of the investment will come from the private sector. Apart from this, a plan is also being made to collect money through toll tax. Highways that have already been constructed. The system of toll tax will be started there. In order to meet the expenses related to the construction of roads. With the passage of time, the rates of toll tax will also be reduced. So that the economic activities in the country can be carried forward at a faster pace.
Stages of Bharatmala Yojana
Talking about the phases of Bharatmala Yojana, its first phase has just started. Under the first phase of Bharatmala project, an economic corridor of 9000 km will be constructed, besides 6000 km of feeder roads will also be constructed. So that the economic corridor can be strengthened.
Under the first phase, 5000 km long border roads will also be constructed. Apart from this, 2000 km long international roads will also be constructed under the Rashtriya Bharatmala project. So that international connectivity can be made easy.
2000 km long roads will be constructed to connect the rest of the country with the ports. Apart from this, 800 km long roads will also be constructed under the National Highway Mission. Apart from this, 10000 km long roads will be constructed to connect the sea parts with the rest of the country. Which will be part of the National Highway Mission. In this way, 34800 km long roads will be constructed in the first phase of Bharatmala project. However, the scope has also been kept to make changes as per the need later this month.
Progress of Bharatmala Project
Finance Minister of India Nirmala Sitharaman, while presenting this year’s budget, had said that out of the total development work of Rs 534000 crores of Bharatmala project, the construction work of 303000 crores of Fife roads is going on. Apart from this, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had provided a budget of Rs 118000 crore to Bharatmala project through Budget 2020-21. It is clear to us that one of the main priorities of the government is the infrastructure of the country.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had told that till now the construction work of 38000 km long roads has been done. And by March 2022, tenders will be issued for 85000 km long roads.
With this, the 11000 km long National Highway Corridor will also be completed. Apart from this, some flagship highways and corridors are being constructed under the Bharatmala project.
According to a report by Press Information Bureau, the main flexi projects of this project are as follows. The project covers Delhi Mumbai Expressway, Bengaluru Chennai Expressway, Delhi Dehradun Economic Corridor, Kanpur Lucknow Expressway, Chennai Salim Corridor, Raipur Visakhapatnam Corridor, Amritsar Jamnagar and Delhi Katra.
Out of all these flexi projects, there are some such projects, some part of which is still pending. While tenders for some projects are yet to be issued.
Salient Features of Bharatmala Project
The Bharatmala project will start from Gujarat and reach Mizoram via Rajasthan and the Himalayas, that is, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur near the Indo-Burma border.
The main focus of this Bharatmala project is international trade. In this, special attention has been given to the states of North-East.
The quality of the roads built under this project will be very good and roads will be constructed in every part of the country.
Bharatmala Pariyojana is an integrated scheme. That is, many other schemes will also be run under this. So that the goal of holistic development can be achieved.
Due to the large area and diversity of this project, the plans have been divided into phases. The time fixed for this project is 5 years. Which is for the first stage.
Bharatmala project is divided into 7 phases. At present, the first phase of Bharatmala project is under-construction.
For timely completion of the first phase of Bharatmala Pariyojana, the government departments are constructing 18 km long roads every day. The time period of the first phase of Bharatmala project is till December 2022. According to the government’s plan, the development of the first phase of Bharatmala project is to be completed from 2017 to December 2022.
The National Highway Corridor and the North East Highway Corridor will be linked at one place after the infrastructure construction under the Bharatmala project. Whatever small pieces are present in it, all of them will also be added together. So that integrated highway can be constructed. Such work is to be done through the construction of Bypass Line Expansion Economic Corridor, Logistic Park.
To promote India’s international trade, Bhutan Bangladesh Nepal will be connected through the road in the border area. Whatever projects are being approved under the Bharatmala project. A National Committee has been constituted for the same. Who is supervising all these projects. The committee has been given the power to approve the project related to Bharatmala project. So that Bharatmala project can be completed on time.
According to experts, the Bharatmala project may be delayed by 4 years due to the coronavirus pandemic and government red tape. If we also add this 4 year delay, the construction of the first phase of Bharatmala project will be completed by the year 2026.
Challenges before Bharatmala Project
The Bharatmala project looks very strong economically. Its area is also huge. According to ICRA, an organization that monitors the Government of India and other economic activities, the first phase of the Bharatmala project may be delayed till the year 2026.
In the month of January 2020, a report was published by ICRA on the Bharatmala project. In this report, the challenges faced by the Bharatmala project were explained in detail.
According to this report, till the year 2022, a total of 246 tenders for road construction projects had been issued. The total length of Jin was 10,000 So Kilometers. The total cost of all these projects was estimated at Rs 238413 crore. According to this report, the cost of roads to be built under Bharatmala project will be ₹ 238800000 per kilometer.
Whereas the cost of the roads to be built under Bharatmala project was estimated to be ₹ 159200000. According to this estimate, the cost of roads built under Bharatmala project is 54% more.
According to this report of ICRA, the coronavirus epidemic has also had an impact on the project being built under the Bharatmala project. Due to which the asset monetization project of National Highway Authority of India Limited may also be affected.
Monetization of various projects of National Highway authority of India limited was to be done through this scheme. According to a report in Live Mint, the monetization scheme of the National Highway Authority of India Limited was to start by the year 2021. which has not happened yet.
ICRA Director Shubham Jain told Live Mint that the construction work of 16000 2219 km long roads to be built under Bharatmala project was still pending. Which is 47% of the total road length of the project. Pending here means that tenders were still not issued for these roads.
Inflation has increased rapidly around the world due to the coronavirus pandemic. This has also had an impact on the Bharatmala project. Due to this, there is a delay in the tendering of the project related to Bharatmala project.
Before this, all the projects of the government were there. Banks used to finance all of them. But due to the corona virus epidemic, they have also been under financial pressure. Banks no longer have the capacity to fund these long-term projects. Which was the time when this plan was started.
Apart from this, many challenges exist under the Bharatmala project. which need to be resolved. To start any project, 80% of the land is required to be populated. Whereas in some government projects, this share goes up to 90%.
Apart from this, environmental clearance is also a challenge like the 1850 crore Char Dham project. Which has been challenged from time to time in the Supreme Court. In such a situation, the project related to the Bharatmala project can also be challenged in the Supreme Court. Due to which these projects may get delayed further. At the same time, some projects can also be closed forever. It will also have an economic impact on India.
The National Highway authority of India limited should monetize them by completing such projects. And from this the money should be refunded. But now it has not been easy to monetize this type of project.