Modi launches Setu Bharatam project

March 4: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today launched Rs 10,200 crore Setu Bharatam project, which aims to make all national highways free of railway crossings by 2019, at Vigyan Bhawan here. Addressing the occasion, the Prime Minister said infrastructure will give speed and strength to the development of the country. “We have taken a comprehensive integrated approach. We know the problems and want to change them with strength.
We believe in quantum jump and not incremental so that projects are implemented on a fast pace,” Mr Modi added. He said when it comes to roads, one needs to think about the facilities for people and how roads can help them in rural areas. Stating that his government’s focus was also towards development of rail infrastructure, Mr Modi said government has changed the way railway sector was looked at and how change could be brought about in that sector.
Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari said, ”several precious lives are lost due to accidents on the National Highways and the government was highly concerned about this.”The priority of the government is to save lives and ensure that such accidents do not occur, Mr Gadkari said.The project is estimated to cost around Rs 50,000 cr for building bridges for safe and seamless travel on National Highways. Under the Setu Bharatam project, 208 places have been identified for construction of Rail Over Bridges (ROB) and Rail Under Bridges (RUB) at a cost of Rs 10,200 crore.
In West Bengal, under this project, the government will construct a four lane bridge on Ganga River besides 22 ROBs and RUBs at a cost of Rs 5,500cr. The government will also build 1,500 new bridges that would replace old ones at an estimated cost of Rs 30,000 crore.

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