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Setu Bharatam project: India poised for a quantum leap in infrastructure, says PM Narendra Modi

Setu Bharatam project: India poised for a quantum leap in infrastructure, says PM Narendra Modi

NEW DELHI: The government isn’t focusing on incremental steps, but is taking a quantum jump for development of infrastructure in the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said at the launch of the Setu Bharatam project that envisages constructing bridges around the country at a cost of Rs 50,800 crore.

The project aims to make all national highways free from railway level crossings by 2019 to ensure road safety. Under the project, 208 bridges will be built at a cost of Rs 20,800 crore. Also, 1,500 old bridges will be reconstructed, which will cost Rs 30,000 crore. “We have taken a comprehensive and integrated approach. The earlier governments had adopted an incremental approach. Our effort is to go for a quantum jump,” said Modi. He said that a good infrastructure network is vital for the growth and development of a nation. “In order to satisfy the aspirations of people, it is necessary to bring in a qualitative change and a comprehensive, integrated approach in developing infrastructure in the country,” the PM explained.

Modi said developing rural roads was a priority for the government and it has been given a huge budgetary support in next year’s budget.

Road transport and highways Minister Nitin Gadkari said that his ministry has already initiated the work for construction of these bridges. Detailed project reports have already been received for 73 bridges, and 64 are likely to be sanctioned with an estimated cost of Rs 5,600 crore by end of this financial year.

The ministry has also established an Indian Bridge Management System (IBMS), the aim of which is to carry out condition survey of all bridges by using mobile inspection units. A total of 11consultancy firms have been appointed for this purpose, and the first cycle of the survey is expected to be completed by June this year. This data base will be the largest of its kind and will help in easing the movement of traffic.

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