Of late, the Government of India (GoI) has introduced a series of initiatives on infrastructure development and facility improvement such as Dedicated Freight Corridors, Wayside Amenities, Sagarmala, Bharatmala, Smart Cities Mission, DelhiMumbai Industrial Corridors, National Waterways, Coastal Economic Zones and Airport Expansions/ Privatisation. Such innovative, large-scale, and thoughtful projects would help to catalyse the Indian economy and place the country on the global infrastructure atlas with pride.
Besides, such projects will see a lot of technological intervention, creative planning, and farsighted vision. The mission will also help vendor development, skill upgradation, employment generation, and grassroots prosperity. While each of the above-listed projects is a subject in itself, a few of these are being dealt with to depict the futuristic vision behind the mission.
The Bharatmala Project aims to develop a superior model of roadways in the country to facilitate better connectivity and improved and decongested highways and road networks. The project map depicts the interconnected economic corridors, inter-corridors, feeder routes, expressways, and national highways. It presents a holistic view of the ambitious project and its vast expense.
The Bharatmala project broadly encompasses the following components:
- National Highways Development Project to provide last-mile connectivity to facilitate improved and decongested roads and highways. It covers over 48 913 km of roads.
- National Corridors (NCs) of India, consisting of upgrading six high-volume highways, i.e., four stretches of Golden Quadrilateral, and two in North-South and East-West corridors and the Mumbai-Kolkata Corridor (NH-9).
The Government will cause the expansion and six-eight laning, assimilation with ring roads, by-passes, and development of elevated corridors under Bharatmala to ensure the decongestion of the presently overcrowded national corridors.
Some of the busiest corridors of the NCs will be converted into expressways. The logistics parks will be set up along the corridors.
- North-East connectivity aims to provide seamless connectivity with important nodes in North-East India.
- International connectivity with the plan to create 24 Integrated Check-Posts (ICPs), integrating the BIMSTEC corridor and improving connectivity with Bangladesh.
The Bharatmala project has been divided into 2 phases.
Under Phase I, the target is to construct 34,600 km, including 24,800 km of new highways and 10,000 km of under-construction roads. Under Phase II, the focus will be on the interconnectivity of multi-model logistics parks and ensuring synergy with the waterways of India. The project is expected to generate 22 million jobs and 100 million person-days. The project's funding is through many routes such as market borrowing, central road fund, monetising government-owned road assets, and budgetary allocation.
Smart Cities Mission
National Smart Cities Mission is an urban renewable and retrofitted program that aims to develop smart cities nationwide, making them citizen-friendly and sustainable. The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs shoulders responsibility for implementing the mission in collaboration with the state governments of respective cities.
Initially, the mission included a hundred cities across the country, with the deadline for completion of projects between 2019 and 2023.
The mission envisions developing an area within the cities in such a manner as to have an inspiring rub-off effect on other parts of the city and nearby cities and towns.
The cities will be selected based on the Smart Cities challenge, where cities will compete countrywide to benefit from this mission. All cities from West Bengal, Mumbai, and Navi Mumbai have withdrawn from the mission. J&K was allocated one city but could not submit its proposal during the first round.
Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu will have the most cities under the mission. Each city will create a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) headed by a full-time CEO to implement the Smart Cities Mission. Centre and State Government will provide Rs. 1,000 crores funding to the company, with equal contribution. The company has to raise additional funds from the financial market.
The first batch of 20 cities have been selected. Known as 20 lighthouse cities in the first round of the All India City Challenge competition, such cities will initially be provided with central assistance of Rs. 200 crore each and Rs. 100 crore per year for the next three years.
Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridors (DMIC)
DMIC is the first industrial corridor on the backbone of the Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) between Delhi and Mumbai, covering an overall length of 1504 km and passing through the States of UP, Delhi/ NCR, Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujrat, and Maharashtra, with end terminals at Dadri (NCR and JNPT) near Mumbai. The project comprises the following:
- Multi-Model Logistics and Transport Hub, UP
- Integrated Industrial Townships near Greater Noida (UP) and Vikram Udyogpuri (MP)
- Integrated Multi-Modal Logistic Hub, Nangal Chaudhary, Haryana
- Jodhpur Pali Marwar Industrial Area, Rajasthan
- Khushkhera Bhiwadi Neemrana Industrial Area, Rajasthan
- Multi-Modal Logistics Park, Sanand (Gujarat)
- Dholera Special Investment Region, Gujarat
- Mandal-Becharaji Special Investment Region, Gujarat
- Shendra Bidkin Industrial Area, near Aurangabad
- Dighi Port Industrial Area, Maharashtra
Various elements of DMIC are in the implementation, completion, or land acquisition stages. The first segment, namely Shendra Bidkin Industrial Area under DMIC, was dedicated to the nation in September 2019 by the Hon. Prime Minister.
While DMIC and related developments are directly connected with the Rail Freight Corridor in Western India, the other two missions, namely Smart Cities and Bharatmala, focus on planned growth, decongestion, and better facilities with speed connected to landlocked territories and road networks. As these infrastructure projects progress and consequential developmental activities mature, they will not only add to the country's GDP, but the possibility of discovering untapped potentials for establishing linkages among these missions/ facilities and further additions/ fine tuning cannot be ruled out.
However, there is a definite professional and bureaucratic need to keep a tab on the development, monitor the progress, and endeavour most sincerely and committedly to synchronise the developments for larger gains and benefit the masses in individual and sectoral ways.
Originally published by InfEneTy.
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