Indian quantum leap: PM Modi launches Rs 50,800 crore Setu Bharatam project
-Dr. Abdul Ruff
Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi on Friday said India is set to take a quantum leap in infrastructure with an ambitious Rs 50,800-crore Setu Bharatam project, under which a total of 208 railway crossings will be replaced by rail over bridges (ROBs) by 2019. Modi was inaugurating the mega project in New Delhi and said the government is committed to strengthening the infrastructure.
As part of the project, 1,500 bridges of the British era will be overhauled at an estimated expenditure of Rs. 30,000 crore. “Altogether, these ROBs and bridges are planned to be completed by 2019 at an estimated cost of Rs. 50,800 crore,” Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari said on the occasion.
The Road Transport and Highways ministry has already launched an Indian Bridge Management System to map 1, 50,000 bridges across the country.
Till now, an inventory of 50,000 bridges has been prepared while the first cycle of condition survey will be completed by June this year. Speaking on the occasion Road Transport & Highways and Shipping Minister Shri Nitin Gadkari informed that the Setu Bharatam programme aims to make all National Highways free of railway level crossings by 2019. This is being done to prevent the frequent accidents and loss of lives at level crossings.
The Minister informed that 208 Railway Over-Bridges (ROB)/Railway Under Bridges (RUB) will be built at the level crossings at a cost of Rs. 20,800 crore as part of the programme. The details of 208 ROBs are as follows:
Andhra Pradesh – 33, Assam – 12, Bihar – 20, Chattisgarh – 5, Gujarat – 8, Haryana – 10, Himachal Pradesh – 5, Jharkhand – 11, Karnataka – 17, Kerala – 4, Madhya Pradesh -6, Maharashtra – 12, Odisha – 4, Punjab – 10, Rajasthan – 9, Tamil Nadu – 9, Utarakhand – 2, Uttar Pradesh – 9, West Bengal – 22.