4 years of Modi govt: Paving the highways for success of India
"If you want to get rich, you have to build roads first," goes a Chinese proverb. And Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari is trying his best to ensure that India emulates them.
Development of roads and highways is one of the priority areas for the Narendra Modi-led government. The Road Transport and Highways Ministry has set itself a target to increase the length of national highways to 2 lakh km.
Since 2013-14, there has been a 77 per cent rise in awarding highway contracts and a 38 per cent increase in the construction of roads and highways.
The ministry has certainly increased its daily road construction target to 20 km a day in February 2017 as compared to 16 km a day in 2015-16. However, the recent number is still lower than the targeted 41 km a day.
The ministry has constructed 10,471 km of national highways during the last two financial years 2014-15 and 2015-16.
In 2016-17, the ministry awarded 15,958 km of highway projects, a jump of nearly 60 percent from previous fiscal.
In FY17, over 26,000 km of four or six-lane highways have been constructed.
To ramp up the momentum and extent of road building even further, last October the government launched the ambitious Bharatmala Pariyojana, which aims to construct a network of highways connecting the western and eastern parts of the country at an estimated cost of Rs 7 trillion.
A total of around 53,000 kms of NHs have been identified to improve National Corridor efficiency, of which 24,800 kms are to be taken up in Phase-I, which will be implemented over a period of five years i.e. 2017-18 to 2021-22 in a phased manner.
- This includes 5,000 kms of the National Corridors, 9000 kms of Economic Corridors, 6000 km of Feeder Corridors and lnter-Corridors, 2000 kms of Border Roads, 2,000 kmsof Coastal Roads and Port Connectivity Roads and 800 kms of Green-field Expressways.
- Total likely fund provision for Bharatmala Phase-I is Rs. 5,35,000 cr.
- Bharatmala will be a major driver for economic growth in the country. lt is estimated that more than 35 crore man-days of employment will be generated under Phase-l of the programme.
Chardham Mahamarg Vikas Pariyojna
To improve connectivity to the Char Dham pilgrimage centres in the Himalayas and make journey to these centres safer, faster and more convenient by developing around 900 km of national highways at an approximate cost of Rs 12,000 crore.
- So far, 24 works have been sanctioned traversing a length of 395 kilometres. 22 works covering a length of 340 kilometre have been awarded. The projects are being taken up on EPC mode amd the program is targeted for completion by March, 2020.
- 1000 km of Expressways to come up along High Density Corridors . Some of these at advanced stages of construction/ pre construction activities include
- Eastern Peripheral Expressway- Western Peripheral Expressway around Delhi, scheduled for completion by April 2018
- Delhi-Meerut Expressway
- Bangalore-Chennai Expressway
- Mumbai-Vadodara Expressway
Ensuring Road Safety
Decrease in number of road accidents
- As per the report Road Accidents in India-2016, there has been a decrease in road accidents by 4.1% in 2016. The trend continues in 2017. The fatalities have shown a decrease of 4.4% during this period.
- Except the States of Assam, Bihar, Orissa and Uttar Pradesh, all the States have witnessed a decrease in road accident fatalities ranging between 2-10 % during this period.
Connectivity with neighboring countries
- Passenger bus service between India and Bangladesh- Bus services on Guwahati-Shillong-Dhaka route and Kolkata- Agartala via Dhaka route flagged off by Prime Ministers of both countries at Dhaka on 06. June 2015.
- MoU signed between India and Nepal in August 2017.for construction of a new Bridge over River Mechi on Indo-Nepal Border at an estimated cost of Rs.158.65 core
- The new bridge is part of up-gradation of the Kakarvitta (Nepal) to Panitanki Bypass (India) on NH 327B, covering a length of 1500 mtrs.
- BS IV Compliance for 4 wheelers- from 1st April 2017.
- Advancing BS -VI Norms to1.April .2020 instead of the earlier target date of April 2021, bypassing BSV norms
- Hybrid vehicle launched, electric vehicles being promoted.
Electric taxi project - Gadkari plans to launch the country's first electric taxi project this month. The pilot project with 200 taxis will be launched in Nagpur.
The plan is a part of the government's larger initiative to shift to electric vehicles by 2030, as per the reports.