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Indian highways will soon cross new boundaries in terms of development through Bharatmala 2.0, to ensure that the goal to create uninterrupted traffic flow across the country, can be realised. This mainly includes a plan to build expressways ranging close to 3000 kilometres in total.
ET Auto shares that the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has invited bids to develop an extensive route of expressways in order to complete the project in the shortest time possible. The initial proposal includes these key routes: Varanasi-Ranchi-Kolkata, Indore-Mumbai, Bengaluru-Pune and Chennai-Trichy.
Poorly-prepared DPR (Detailed Project Reports) is one of the factors which have caused delays in the past when it comes to executing large-scale civil engineering projects. This will ultimately cause the government to add supplementary works and bring up the investment expenditure by a good margin.
"It took us about two years to prepare detailed project reports (DPRs) for phase one of Bharatmala. Undertaking DPR preparation for the next lot of projects will help save time and the focus is on preparing high-quality detailed reports for faster execution," stated an official from the Ministry of Highways.
Some of the above-mentioned routes will be built over existing highways or expressways, while others will have greenfield alignments (new roads). As per reports, these are the main identified greenfield highways: Patna-Rourkela, Jhansi-Raipur, Solapur-Belgaum, Bengaluru-Kadappa-Vijayawada, Gorakhpur-Bareilly and Varanasi-Gorakhpur.
The target timeline to finish Bharatmala Phase II project is within 2024. It was even proposed to bring the speed limit up to 120km/h on expressways. On the other hand, the highway development processes will strictly follow the restrictions put forward by the authorities concerned with wildlife and vegetation.
NHAI will opt a longer route or even a complicated deviation if a wildlife sanctuary or a national park comes in the way. Besides this, proper separation of local traffic and a good array of safe (and convenient) road-crossing facilities will be set up.
Thoughts On The New Indian Expressway Project
Though it will take some time to finish Bharatmala Phase II, it will revamp India's state-to-state mobility means. Highways are an essential part of cross-country road networks and it is high time that India needs to be on par with various foreign countries which have a range of interstate four-lane and six-lane roads.