Aiming at improving port connectivity in the country, the road transport ministry and National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) will together take up 82 projects under the ambitious Bharatmala project.
These are part of the government’s broader highway expansion plans in the coming years for connecting economic hubs to major and minor ports via road and rail, which presently is a hurdle.
As many as 44 routes, of at least 100,000 km of roads, would be connected. As per reports, the proposal by the ministry of shipping had been accepted by the roads ministry and would go to the Cabinet after discussion. Under the Bharatmala project, the ministry is to review the national highway network to improve connectivity to coastal and border areas, religious and tourist places. Around 1,500 major bridges and 200 rail bridges are part of this, as is connectivity to district headquarters and the Char Dham places (Kedarnath, Badrinath, Yamunotri and Gangotri in Uttarakhand).
Road transport, highways and shipping minister Nitin Gadkari has reportedly said that improving of port connectivity is a focus area, requiring investment of Rs 4 lakh crore. There are 12 major ports and the Central Government is also developing three new ports in the country.