MoRTH prepares Cabinet note for Bharat Mala project

The MoRTH has prepared a cabinet note on the Rs 2.6 trillion Bharat Mala project, which envisages the construction of 25,000 km of roads along India’s borders, coastal areas, ports, religious and tourist places as well as over 100 district headquarters. The ministry has now decided to combine the scope of work under earlier schemes including Setu Bharatam, Char Dham Connectivity and the National Highways Development Programme (NHDP) and implement them under an umbrella scheme. The note will be finalised and placed before the cabinet soon. The ministry aims to complete the project by 2022. Scheme-wise, the government plans to spend Rs 800 billion on the Bharat Mala project, which entails the construction of 7,000 km of border and coastal roads, Rs 850 billion for the provision of connectivity to religious and tourist places and Rs 300 billion on Setu Bharatam, which includes construction of 1,500 bridges and overbridges. The government also plans to build 9,000 km of roads connecting over 123 district headquarters at an investment of Rs 600 billion, 7,000 km in backward areas at a cost of Rs 800 billion and the 900 km Char Dham stretch, connecting Kedarnath, Badrinath, Yamunotri and Gangotri, at an investment of Rs 117 billion. While most projects under the umbrella scheme will be government funded, some works can be undertaken on a PPP basis. The government can also take soft loans from multilateral funding agencies to cover part of the cost.