First Bharatmala projects to start by 2018: Gadkari
Bharatmala is part of a Rs 7 lakh crore mega plan to build 83,677 km of highways by March 2022, that the Union cabinet approved on Tuesday.india Updated: Oct 25, 2017 23:52 IST
Work on the first set of projects under Bharatmala, one of the most ambitious highway development programmes of the current NDA government, will begin before the end of 2018, Union road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari said on Wednesday.
Bharatmala is part of a Rs 7 lakh crore mega plan to build 83,677 km of highways by March 2022, that the Union cabinet approved on Tuesday.
Gadkari said that the ministry is initiating a slew of measures to ensure expeditious implementation of the program. “We have empowered the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to appraise, approve and bid out projects worth upto Rs 2,000 crore,” he said.
Earlier, all highway projects worth over Rs 1000 crore went to the finance ministry’s Public Investment Board for approval.
Senior ministry officials said empowering NHAI will help go a long way in cutting down delay in the approval process.
Gadkari, however, admitted that land acquisition for this massive highway expansion program will be “tough and complicated.”
“But after land compensation rates were enhanced following the new land acquisition policy, farmers are more forthcoming to give their land,” he said.
A total of around 600 projects have been identified across the components for Bharatmala. A Detailed Project Report preparation for 19,500 kms is underway currently.