The Government may soon come up with an ambitious Rs 3 lakh crore Economic Corridor project to develop 35,000 km of highways for faster movement of freight.
This would be the second largest project in the sector after the flagship road building programme of NHDP, which saw development of 50,000 km of national highways network as per global standards including the Golden Quadrilateral project.
The Golden Quadrilateral project aims at connecting all four metropolises and North-South Corridor, connecting Srinagar to Kayakumari and East-West Corridor joining Porbandar to Silchar.
According to reports, a Road Transport and Highways Ministry-appointed study for economic corridors by global consultancy firm AT Kearney has identified 40 such economic corridors totalling about 35,000 km. The project is aimed at faster movement of cargo and would not only under developing economic corridors with a length of about 21,000 km, but also developing 14,000 km of feeder routes, ie providing connectivity to logistic hubs.
As per reports, a rough estimate suggests about Rs 3 lakh crore on the project and the scheme is being finalised. A few of the economic corridors include Mumbai-Cochin-Kanyakumari, Bangalore-Mangalore, Hyderabad-Panji and Sambalpur-Ranchi. The project would be taken into phases and would be awarded under various modes including build, operate, transfer (BOT), toll mode and the hybrid annuity mode (HAM) under which the while the government provides 40 per cent of the project cost the developer has to arrange for remaining 60 per cent. On completion, the economic corridors would reduce the travel time and result in reduction in logistics costs.
The proposed Economic Corridor is planned to overtake the Ministry’s National Grid Project, where NHAI has prepared a plan for grid connectivity through 27 horizontal and vertical highways.