PM launches Setu Bharatam Project – Make all National Highways Free from Railway Crossing

Published Date - 08 September 2017 05:30:51 Updated Date - 25 October 2017 06:22:37


Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi launched the Setu Bharatam programme for building bridges for safe and seamless travel on National Highways, in New Delhi today. Speaking on the occasion he said that a good infrastructure network is vital for the growth and development of a nation. He said that in order to satisfy the aspirations and long felt needs of people it is necessary to bring in a qualitative change and a comprehensive, integrated approach in developing infrastructure in the country.


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.


Detailed Project Reports have already been received for 73 ROBs and of these 64 ROBs are likely to be sanctioned with an estimated cost of Rs. 5600 crore by this financial year i.e. 2015-16.


In addition to this, about 1500 old and worn down bridges will also be improved by replacement/widening/strengthening in a phased manner at a cost of about Rs. 30,000 crore. The Ministry has already invited bids for appointing consultancy for preparing Detailed Project Report for this. The target is to award the consultancy work by March, 2016.


The Ministry of Road Transport & Highways has also established an Indian Bridge Management System (IBMS) at the Indian Academy for Highway Engineer in Noida, U.P. The aim is to carry out conditions survey and inventorization of all bridges on National Highways in India by using Mobile Inspection Units. 11 consultancy firms have been appointed for this purpose. Till now inventorization of 50,000 bridges has been done. The first cycle of the survey is expected to be completed by June 2016. This data base will be the largest of its kind and will also help in smoothening the movement of Over-Dimension and Over-Weight consignments on National Highways.

Under the project, 208 rail-over bridges and rail-under bridges will be built.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said the government is putting in all efforts to build infrastructure, especially rural roads, in a comprehensive manner.

“Veins give strength to our body. Similarly, infrastructure will give speed and strength to the development of India. There will be progress if we focus on building road and railway network, optical fibre network, water, grid and electricity connectivity along with electricity supply. Our government is working in that direction,” Mr. Modi said while launching the Rs. 50,000 crore ‘Setu Bharatam’ project.

The ‘Setu Bharatam’ project aims to make all national highways free from railway level crossing by 2019 to ensure road safety. Under the project, 208 rail-over bridges and rail-under bridges will be built at the cost of Rs. 20,800 crore, Road Minister Nitin Gadkari said. Also, 1,500 decade-old bridges will be reconstructed and revamped for Rs. 30,000 crore.

“We have taken a comprehensive and integrated approach. We know the problems and put our full effort to address them. Normally, the governments have an incremental approach. Our effort is to go a quantum jump,” the Prime Minister said.

He said that developing rural roads is a priority for the government and it has got huge budgetary support this year. In Budget 2016-17, Rs. 19,000 crore has been sanctioned under the Pradham Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY), to connect all villages with roads, compared with Rs. 14,291 crore in the revised estimates of 2015-16.

Taking a jibe at previous governments, Mr. Modi said railway development was only limited to announcing new trains in the Railway Budget, as a result of which many key projects were pending.



“Earlier, trains were announced in Parliament to please some MPs and get applause. Many schemes were lying dormant. Railways won’t run only by applause. It requires significant development. We decided to develop rail lines and gauges. We have changed the way railway sector is looked at and how change can be brought about in that sector,” Mr. Modi said.

He said nobody is paying attention to the development work initiated by the government in the Indian Railways.


Leave Your Comment Here