The Union Cabinet approved the road building programme over the next five years wherein a capital expenditure of Rs 6.92 lakh crore will be incurred for 83,677 km.
The Bharatmala project is part of the 83,677 km road project approved on Tuesday and will generate huge direct and indirect employment in construction activity, the Minister said.
Government's proposed Bharatmala Highway Project will be completed in next 5 years with an estimated cost of ₹7 lakh crores.
Bharatmala is the second-largest highways project after National Highway Development Programme (NHDP) that saw the development of about 50,000 km, and aims at improving the connectivity in border and other areas.
"With the implementation of this programme, India could get the much needed cost competitiveness in the manufacturing sector by bringing down the logistics cost which is now one of the highest among the emerging markets and way above that prevalent in developed economies", Mint quoted Jagannarayan Padmanabhan, director and practice lead, transport and logistics at CRISIL Infrastructure Advisory as saying.
Analysts said the push to road infrastructure would have a ripple effect on construction and job creation.
Mr Gadkari said 550 districts will be covered under Bharatmala project as against earlier 300 districts.
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"Under the project, 6,000 km of inter-corridor and feeder routes will be constructed to ensure holistic connectivity", Finance Secretary Ashok Lavasa said.
Mr. Malik said 70-80% total freight will move on national highways against 40% freight at present due to BharatMala. Bharatmala Phase I - is to be implemented over a five years period of 2017-18 to 2021-22.
Finance minister Arun Jaitley said that the government will launch an umbrella road building programme to de-bottleneck the sector.
Around 2,100 km coastal roads and 2,000 km port connectivity roads as also 1,900 km stretches of greenfield expressways have also been identified under the project.
"The government's decision to enhance spending in roads and highways, including port connectivity and border and cross-border roads, will have a big multiplier impact on economic growth", Chandrajit Banerjee, director general of the CII, said.
The land acquisition process and detailed project reports for the scheme are underway and the Government is hopeful that the scheme would elicit a great response from the private sector, Gadkari said.
The government will fund Bharatmala project through market borrowings, central road funds, monetising government-owned road assets, and budgetary allocationBharatmala project through market borrowings, central road funds, monetising government-owned road assets, and budgetary allocation.