New Delhi: The government is planning to build ring roads in the country’s 28 major cities at an estimated cost of Rs36,290 crore, Union minister Nitin Gadkari has said.

The ring road projects are part of the ambitious Bharatmala initiative announced by the Cabinet last year, under which the government envisages development of 84,000kms of national highways at an investment of Rs6.92 trillion by 2022.

“We plan to decongest all major cities under Bharatmala. We have plans to build ring roads at an estimated cost of Rs36,290 crore. Formulation of detailed project reports (DPRs) for projects worth Rs21,100 crore are in the process," the road transport, highways, shipping, water resources and Ganga rejuvenation minister told PTI.

Gadkari said DPRs are under award stage for another Rs4,700 crore projects. Ring roads have been planned in the all the major cities, including Delhi, Lucknow, Bengaluru, Ranchi, Patna, Srinagar and Udaipur. Various national corridors are planned under the Bharatmala scheme, and for decongestion of corridors the government has planned various initiatives like ring roads, the minister said. Apart from 28 ring roads, 40 bypasses have also been planned, Gadkari said.

The minister said that considering massive road building under Bharatmala, the highways ministry has sought enhanced budgetary allocation this time, besides funds for innovation in the sector. People familiar with the matter earlier said the ministry in a communication to the finance ministry has said that any reduction in outlay will impact Bharatmala.

As against the ministry’s proposal of Rs84,260 crore for BE (budgetary estimate) 2018-19, the indicative outlay for RE (revised estimate) 2018-19 is only Rs66,760 crore, an official said, adding that any such reduction in the RE 2017-18 and BE 2018-19 will be a severe setback in the progress of the ongoing projects and achievement of targets, besides adversely impacting the targets set under Bharatmala Pariyojna.

The people familiar with the matter said that concerns have already been raised at the finance ministry.

Meanwhile, the minister said apart from seeking more budgetary allocation, the ministry will seek funds from other sources also, including monetisation of highways expected in the next fiscal.

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