New Delhi, April 30: In yet another ambitious project, Modi government is contemplating to build 5,000 km of road networks in the country.
Threading on the footprint of his predecessor Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who had started the Golden Quadrilateral project in past, the BJP government is planning to link border and coastal areas with road network.
This will be another project on the line of 'Sagar Mala', a scheme to connect the ports with hinterlands to protect country's maritime interest in Indian Ocean.
All about 'Bharat Mala'
The road project named 'Bharat Mala' will cost around Rs 50, 000 crore. Reportedly, the road network will cover 10 states, including Gujarat in the west to Mizoram in the northeast. According to Times Of India, the project will cover all bordering states - Nepal, Bangladesh, China, Pakistan and Bhutan - besides covering the vast coastline.
When asked about the move, a ministry official quoted by TOI saying, "Already we have good road network in these stretches. We will build the missing links and also extend the network where no road exists at present. These will provide connectivity to the huge number of ports, which will be part of the 'Sagar Mala' project. Once completed, these will provide seamless connectivity along the borders, which is crucial for strategic reasons".
At present the plan is at nascent stage and all the nuances are being studied upon to check out the feasibility of the project.
Reportedly, the project will be completed in a phased manner with the help of Border Roads Organisation (BRO). Sources say that 'Bharat Mala' will be economically and strategically significant. It will facilitate Indian army to easily assess the border areas and also help in boosting trade ties with neighbouring countries
Asking about the layout of the plan, an official on the condition of anonymity said, "We are identifying the stretches and will soon start preparation of the plan. We have also started consultations with state governments to get their views and to take them on board. The width of roads will differ from state to state and it will depend on the traffic demand",
What is Golden Quadrilateral project
The project, a network of highways connecting India's four top metropolitan cities, forming a quadrilateral, was launched by the NDA government in 2001. The Golden Quadrilateral project aims to connect the four metropolis-- Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai.
Who started Sagar Mala Project
Sagar Mala was announced by the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on the Independence Day in 2003 with the objective of achieving rapid capacity expansion and modernisation of ports along the country's east and west coasts.
The project envisaged developing India's ports to levels comparable with the best global ports in terms of infrastructure, efficiency and quality of service, increasing the tonnage capacity, upgrading and creating ship building and ship repair facilities and increase the use of inland waterways for transportation.