Twenty eight ring roads around big cities, 45 bypasses, 34 projects of expanding lanes and flyovers will be taken up in the next one-and-a-half years to end traffic choke points in urban areas. The cities that will benefit from these projects include Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Varanasi, Lucknow, Amritsar, Jalandhar, Pune, Nagpur and Amaravati.
The government also announced starting of work on developing another 24 logistics parks, which will help reduce the congestion and pollution on city roads as heavy vehicles won't need to enter cities. Announcing these details of the Bharatmala programme, highways minister Nitin Gadkari said works on most of the projects will start by 2018-end. “The focus is to provide better connectivity to all regions and improve mobility. We will provide four-lane highway connectivity to 250 more districts. At present, 300 districts have such high speed connectivity ,“ Gadkari said.
He said a total of 50,000 km of highways will be developed and widened under Bharatmala programme. In phase-I, 34,800 km will be covered. Highways secretary Y S Malik said completion of the highway development programme is aimed at reducing travel time by 25% and reducing the logistics cost by about 4%. “Increasing the number of key uniform corridors from only six to 50 in the next five years will result in increasing the share of freight transport through highways from the present 40% to about 70-80%,“ he added.
Gadkari said logistics parks will change the entire mobility plan as big lorries of about 30 tonnes capacity would ply between production and consumption centres against the present practice of trucks having 10 tonnes capacity plying on these stretches.