Starting from Gujarat to Rajasthan, Punjab and the entire set of Himalayan states, the road will extend onwards to Mizoram as a part of the Prime Minister’s Bharat Mala initiative. The project is being planned at a cost of INR 14,000 crores and is the answer to enhance reach and connectivity to border regions.
Narendra Modi’s initiative to build Bharat Mala follows up on the Golden Quadrilateral built when Atal Bihari Vajpayee was in power. Bharat Mala is an ambitious plan to build roadways from west to east. The states which will benefit from this, are Gujarat, Rajasthan, Punjab, J&K, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Sikkim, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur, and Mizoram. This network of highways will form a garland (mala) of roadways around the country.
As announced by Union Roads Secretary, Vijay Chhibber, a project of this magnitude will involve construction of over 5,300 kms of new roads at a cost between INR 12,000-14,000 crores. Slated to get off to a start by the end of this year, completion of project reports and clearance processes have commenced.
This new roadway, much of which will be through the mountainous states, will not only assist in efficient and speedy transport of supplies to Indian troops at the border area but will also open up borders and enhance trade activities.
Funding of the project will not be a problem as there is a mandate to spend a minimum of INR 1 lakh crores each year on roads. However, it is land acquisition and receipt of environmental clearances that could pose some problems. Bharat Mala will finally connect to another project called Sagar Mala where in ports and coastal regions will be connected to the hinterlands via road and rail links.