BHARATMALA PARIYOJANA (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 - Infrastructure)

News-CRUX-10     14th August 2023        
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Context: The Comptroller and Auditor General of India has flagged how the NHAI's decision to go for elevated carriageway on the Haryana portion of Dwarka Expressway has pushed up the construction cost to Rs 251 crore per km.

  • It also flagged how the Delhi-Mumbai Expressway may remain "underutilised" for the next 25 years as the stretch has more lane capacity than required to meet the next 15 years' traffic demand.
  • The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) is building both the expressways under the Bharatmala highway development programme
  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) had approved an overall average construction cost of Rs 18.2 crore per km while approving the Bharatmala programme.

Bharatmala Pariyojana

  • It is an umbrella program for the highways sector that focuses on optimizing efficiency of freight and passenger movement across the country by bridging critical infrastructure gaps through effective interventions like development of Economic Corridors, Inter Corridors and Feeder Routes, National Corridor Efficiency Improvement, Border and International connectivity roads, Coastal and Port connectivity roads and Greenfield expressways. 
  • It was launched in 2017.
  • All key aspects of the scheme are managed by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.
  • Under Phase-I of Bharatmala Pariyojana, implementation of 34,800 km of national highways in 5 years (from 2017 to 2022) has been approved at an estimated outlay of Rs. 5,35,000 crore.
  • Phase-II envisages around 48,000 km of road network across India by 2024.