The cabinet approves Rs 7 lakh crore for highway projects including Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dream project ‘Bharatmala‘. Bharatmala is a project that connects the major cities of the country. The Transport Minister, Nitin Gadkari had recently said that the first phase of the project would be 20,000 km long.In the next five years, the Central has sanctioned 80,000 km of highways at an estimated cost of Rs 7 lakh crore. The highway connecting Kanyakumari and Kochi-Mumbai cities is part of the Bharathmala project. Once this is done, the journey from Kochi to Mumbai will be done within five hours.Apart from the Mumbai-Kochi-Kanyakumari route, there will be high-speed rail connectivity such as Bengaluru-Mangalore, Hyderabad-Panaji, Sambharpur-Ranchi. The Transport Minister ,Nitin Gadkari said that the detailed report was being prepared.
Bharathmala will be the largest national highway project since NHPP (National Highway Development Project) which has completed over 50,000 kms. In 1998, the Vajpayee government initiated the NHPP project.Development of Economic Corridor meant for speeding freight traffic is also part of the Government’s approval plans. The central government has prepared a project to construct 21,000 kms of economic corridor. In addition, the 14,000-km long stretch roads will be constructed.