What is Bharat Mala?
- It is the name given to a ambitious programme of the Modi government which is a road built along India’s west to east land border, from Gujarat to Mizoram, at a cost of around Rs 14,000 crore.
- It links to a road network in coastal states, from Maharashtra to Bengal.
- It is a road network that will look as a garland to the territory of India.
- It is expected to take off later this year after all clearances are in place.
- Due to Modi’s keen interest in this project, the ministry is aiming to complete a detailed project report in next few months.
- The government will have to construct some 5,300 km of new roads at an estimated cost of about Rs 12,000-14,000 crore for covering India’s entire west-to-east land border.
- It has set a time frame of 5 years to finish the project.
- The project will start from Gujarat and Rajasthan, move to Punjab and then cover the entire string of Himalayan states – Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand – and then portions of borders of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar alongside Terai, and move to Sikkim, Assam,Arunachal Pradesh, and right up to the Indo-Myanmar border in Manipur and Mizoram.
- Improve reach and connectivity in border areas, where right now lies China’s impressive road infrastructure.
- To address the problem of supplies to India’s troops as well as military transport which currently happen through poor quality roads.
- Borders will open up and border trade will start.
- The economic multiplier effect of better roads on many poorer border states is expected to be high.
- New road construction will happen in mountain states where connectivity and economic activity is low.
- Land acquisition and environmental clearances.
- It will eventually connect with another signature project, Sagar Mala, which aims to connect ports and coastal regions with the hinterland through both rail and road links, besides developing inland waterways.