- The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) is set to get the power to approve projects with a construction cost of more than Rs 1,000 crore to ensure faster implementation highway project of the Bharatmala programme.
- Currently, all highway projects that entail a construction cost of more than Rs 1,000 crore, excluding land, need to be approved by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA).
- Under the proposal, only public private partnership (PPP) projects under the build-operate-transfer (BOT) model, where viability gap funding (VGF) is to be provided by the government, will need CCEA clearance.
- The NHAI board would be empowered to approve all engineering procurement and construction and hybrid annuity projects
- Bharatmala envisions 44 economic corridors across the country at a cost of at least Rs 5 lakh crore.
- The Bharatmala corridors have been mapped as per traffic density and economic relevance of the cities that will be connected with the help of the Bhaskaracharya Institute for Space Applications and Geo-informatics.
- The project involves constructing 24,000km of new highways.
- The project is aimed at speeding up cargo movement and the development of multimodal logistics hubs and parks on the periphery of major commercial centres.
- The project includes construction of feeder routes alongside national highways.
- Around 80% of Bharatmala will be based on a government funded, engineering procurement and construction (EPC) model while the rest will be a hybrid-annuity public private partnership.