Is India a developing nation? Modi’s big infrastructure push reinventing India as a leading innovation nation


India is setting new records in infrastructure development by building many of the world’s biggest, tallest, largest, highest, and the longest structures in the country. India is no longer a developing nation. It has surpass the tag of developing nation to a leading innovation nation.

Infrastructure is one of the major drivers of our economy. More investment in infrastructure translates into more growth and productivity. It also generates better physical and digital access and many future opportunities. Throughout its tenure, the current NDA government led by Prime Minister Modi has been relentlessly pushing for infrastructure development.

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The infrastructure includes Power, Bridges, Dams, roads and urban infrastructure. It employs 44 million people and contributes 9% in India’s GDP.

Eight Infrastructure Projects in India are:

1. Sagarmala Project

Vision of the Sagarmala Programme is to reduce logistics cost for EXIM and domestic trade with minimal infrastructure investment. This includes:

• Reducing cost of transporting domestic cargo through optimizing modal mix

• Lowering logistics cost of bulk commodities by locating future industrial capacities near the coast

• Improving export competitiveness by developing port proximate discrete manufacturing clusters

• Optimizing time/cost of EXIM container movement

2. Bharatmala Project

The development of any nation depends on the transportation networks and the ways in which they are being maintained. The same holds true for the development of a huge and populous nation like India. For connecting the areas and maintaining smooth flow of traffic, the construction of new and developed roads are a must. The same will be achieved with the implementation of the Bharatmala project. Under the scheme, a host of new roads will be laid down in the nation.

Bharatmala Pariyojana is a new umbrella program for the highways sector that focuses on optimizing efficiency of freight and passenger movement across the country by bridging critical infrastructure gaps through effective interventions like development of Economic Corridors, Inter Corridors and Feeder Routes, National Corridor Efficiency Improvement, Border and International connectivity roads, Coastal and Port connectivity roads and Green-field expressways.

3. Mumbai Trans Harbour Link, Shivaji Memorial

The proposed Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (‘MTHL’) has been planned to facilitate decongestion of the island city by improving connectivity between Island city and main land (Navi Mumbai) and development of Navi Mumbai Region. The link was envisaged about 35 years back.

Earlier three attempts in the year 2006, 2007 and 2013 by the Government authorities to take up the Project in various modes including PPP and EPC did not succeed.
Govt. of Maharashtra, vide G.R. dated 4th February 2009, decided that the project will be owned and implemented by Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA). Govt. of Maharashtra, vide G.R. dated 8th June 2011, designated the project as Regional Development project.

4. Arunachal Pradesh on Rail Map

Naharlagun railway station is a railway station located in Papum Pare district of Arunachal Pradesh. It is about 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) to the state capital Itanagar.

Projects about to be completed include the first rail connectivity projects in Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh, along with crucial gauge conversion between Rangpara and North Lakhimpur, which would connect Arunachal Pradesh to the rest of the country. The three projects entail a cost of about Rs 3,000 crore. “Our deadlines for the first rail connectivity to Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh are set at March 2014, and we will achieve it this time,” said a Railway Board official.

Railway’s goal of providing connectivity to all state capitals of the northeastern region, a survey was conducted in 1997 for a new line from Harmuti to Itanagar and the project was sanctioned in 1996-97 Railway Budget as a Metre Gauge line. The approval of the state government was received in 2006, but the alignment had to be changed in 2010 on the request of the state government and finally the line was taken up as a Broad Gauge line from Harmuti to Naharlagun.

5. Setu Bharatam Project

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.

6. Rashtriya Rajmarg Zila Sanjoyokta Pariyojna

The Rashtriya Rajmarg Zila Sanjoyokta Pariyojna, approved by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a review meeting last week, entails development of 6,600 km of highways at an estimated cost of about Rs 60,000 crore.

• “Under the Rashtriya Rajmarg Zila Sanjoyokta Pariyojna, roads will be developed to connect100 district headquarters across the country. The 6,600 km of national highways do not have uniform configuration across the length. These would be upgraded to ensure better connectivity,” said a senior official in the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH).

7. Inland Waterways

Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI), anticipating an increase in cargo traffic, plans to purchase 8-10 inland cargo vessels to operate on two key waterways – the Ganga and the Brahmaputra.

Following the Government’s push to this mode of transportation, it expects there will be a demand for 150-200 barges/vessels on the Ganga (National Waterways 1) in the next 3-4 years.

8. Gujarat-Gorakhpur Gas Pipeline

State-owned Indian Oil Corp (IOC) plans to lay the nation’s longest LPG pipeline from Gujarat coast to Gorakhpur in eastern Uttar Pradesh to cater to growing demand for cooking gas in the country.

IOC plans to import LPG at Kandla in Gujarat and move it through the 1,987 kilometer pipeline to Gorakhpur via Ahmedabad (in Gujarat), Ujjain, Bhopal (in Madhya Pradesh), Kanpur, Allahabad, Varanasi and Lucknow (in Uttar Pradesh).