The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) will soon get powers to approve highway projects with construction cost of more than Rs 1,000 crore to ensure faster implementation of Bharatmala programme. The programme, along with the proposal to enhance powers of NHAI will soon get Cabinet clearance soon.
Currently, all highway projects entailing construction cost more than Rs 1,000 crore, excluding land is approved by Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA). Under the new proposal, only public private partnership (PPP) projects under build-operatetransfer (BOT) model, where viability gap funding (VGF) is to be provided by government, will need CCEA clearance. It will allow NHAI board to approve all engineering procurement and construction and hybrid annuity projects.
Bharatmala envisions 44 economic corridors across country at cost of at least Rs 5 lakh crore. It is aimed at speeding up cargo movement and development of multimodal logistics hubs and parks on periphery of major commercial centres.
The project involves constructing 24,000km of fresh highways. It also includes construction of feeder routes alongside national highways. The Bharatmala corridors have been mapped as per traffic density and economic relevance of cities that will be connected with help of Bhaskaracharya Institute for Space Applications and Geo-informatics.
Around 80% of Bharatmala projects will be government funded, engineering procurement and construction (EPC) model while rest will be a hybrid-annuity public private partnership (PPP).