To strengthen India's infrastructure space and focus on building road and railway network, optical fibre network, water, grid and electricity connectivity along with electricity supply, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today inaugurated an ambitious Rs 50,800-crore Setu Bharatam project.
Under the project, a total of 208 railway crossings will be replaced by rail over bridges (ROBs). Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari present on the occasion said that the ministry has already launched an Indian Bridge Management System to map 1,50,000 bridges across the country.
Following are the some of the other key features of the Setu Bharatam project:
1) As part of the project, 1,500 bridges of the British era will be overhauled at an estimated expenditure of Rs. 30,000 crore. 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.
2) The ‘Setu Bharatam’ project aims to make all national highways free from railway level crossing by 2019 to ensure road safety.
3) As part of the programme, 208 Railway Over Bridges (ROB)/Railway Under Bridges (RUB) will be built at the level crossings at a cost of Rs 20,800 crore.
4) These ROBs will be built across 19 states, with state of Andhra Pradesh accounting for highest number (33) rail over bridges, followed by West Bengal (22) and Bihar (20 ROBs) etc.
5) In a first, Modi said, gradation of bridges is being done through space technology with information like age, longitude, latitude, length, material and design.