Bharatmala is the biggest ever road building programme after National Highways Development Project (NHDP) that saw development of about 50,000 km of roadways, and aims at improving connectivity in border and other areas.
"The Bharatmala project includes 9,000 km of economic corridor to smoothen connectivity of manufacturing hubs," the government announced at a media briefing after a meeting of the Union Cabinet.
Under the Bharatmala project, 6,000 km of inter-corridor and feeder routes will be constructed to ensure holistic connectivity, Finance Secretary Ashok Lavasa said. The government also approved construction of 2,000 km of roads along the eastern and western borders of the country to boost border roads and international connectivity.
Meanwhile, to boost tourism and industrial development, 2,100 km of coastal roads have been planned. Port connectivity will also be increased by building 2,000 km of roads in conjunction with Sagarmala, the Government said.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that the government has consistently increased public expenditure on infrastructure in order to boost employment and provide renewed impetus to economic growth.
Taking forward its commitment to providing more efficient transportation, the government has debottlenecked the roads sector and significantly stepped up the highway development and road building programme, he said.
The National Highways Authority of India, the National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways and state public works departments have been given the task of ensuring completion of the highways projects by 2021-22, the government said.