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Bharat Mala: Is Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s new ambitious project of building a 5,000 km road network feasible?

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

After ‘Make in India,’ India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has come up with another ‘ambitious’ project – Bharat Mala – that will supposedly link the entire Himalayan states.

But, not to forget, he wants to do this in five years with an estimated budget of Rs 14,000 crore, as per the report of The Economic Times. This is going to be a road network that will garland India’s territory. Hence, the name Bharat Mala.

It is said that this project will link the untouched areas in the backblocks to push development and economic activities. Bharat Mala will pass along all bordering countries – Nepal, Bangladesh, China, Pakistan and Bhutan – also tracking the vast coastline.

A ministry official said, “Already we have good road network in these stretches. We will build the missing links and also extend the network where no road exists at present. These will provide connectivity to the huge number of ports, which will be part of the ‘Sagar Mala’ project. Once completed, these will provide seamless connectivity along the borders, which is crucial for strategic reasons.”

Starting from Gujarat and Rajasthan, the project will exceed towards Punjab covering Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand , and will touch the borders of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar alongside Terai. Then, it will ascend towards Sikkim, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, and will finish in Mizoram.

However, as per the industry estimates, it requires minimum Rs 10 crore to build just one kilometer of highway in India. If that estimate is taken in mind, then the construction of 5,300 kilometers of Bharat Mala will cost the government whopping Rs 53,000 crore.

In addition, there is hardly any chance that the route will see any heavy traffic, which means that even the private companies won’t find it profitable to invest in.

However, if those statistics are to be believed, it seems like Modi’s dream of connecting Gujarat to Mizoram is way too ambitious.

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