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Scrutiny
  
India for the next 75 years and beyond
What more infrastructure does India need to become a developed country? Analyses AKRAM HOQUE & SRAY AGARWAL of IIPM Think Tank
01/05/2008

Industry

Indeed, it is the ineffectiveness and flaws in infrastructure and policy that have hamstrung the development of manufacturing, which has in-turn negatively, affected its export inefficiencies. Neither side of the coin is rosy, the agriculture in the rural area and services in the urban has failed to absorb the second largest population on earth and provide a sustainable development.

There is need to start 750 Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in order to encourage manufacturing and entrepreneurial skills across India. The polity should learn from the success of Navratnas companies and should recognize more such 75 public companies and give them a status and privileges like Navratnas companies. In order to motivate the private sectors, 750 best performing companies should be also given privileges and stature of Navratnas companies and should be supported to make a mark in global market.

An Industrial corridor like that of ‘Delhi-Mumbai industrial corridor’ undoubtedly encourages and eases the trading. More of such corridors rather 75 such corridors connecting major industrial cities should be constructed. In order to encourage small and medium industries, and let the budding entrepreneur grow, 75 hubs for small and medium industries should be planned across India. Moreover,7500 small and medium companies across India should be identified and should be helped in all possible ways to become big companies and enter a large market. This will also lead to the growth of more non-skilled employment and allow the not-so-educated population to benefit out of it.
Public transport

Though public transport in India has made immense progress, still it remains inadequate for Indians. As the country progresses and ranks 2nd in eradicating poverty, witnesses growing urbanisation and is emerging as major power in the global footage, a decent public transport system will surely play a major role.

Interestingly, the road transportation meets 80% of the transport need in India. The total length of paved road track in India is about 3.38 million kms, making the Indian road network one of the largest in the world. However, the road transport is partly operated by public sector (28.7%) and majorly by private sector (72.7%). What ails India is that there has been a staggering 100 fold increase in the population of motorised vehicles; but the road network has not expanded with similar pace. While the motor vehicle population has grown from 0.3 million in 1951 to over 30 million in 2004, the road network has expanded from 0.4 million km to 3.38 million km, only an eight fold increase in terms of length. Major of these paved road are built by National Highway Authority (NHA), State Highways (SHs) and Major District Roads (MDRs). Thus the milestone of 7.5 million kms of road length with another 7.5 lakh new buses through Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) can reduce major transport hazards.

One of the world’s largest rail networks with about 108,805 km length of rail track still is insufficient and overcrowded. Another 750 new trains and at least 7,500 length of rail track specially focusing on east and south India can solve many of the problems which remain key challenges. These parts of the country remains neglected. And on the lines of Metros which is rapidly expanding, 75 more cities across India should be provided with ‘Mass Rapid Transport System’. As freedom can’t be gifted or aided, revolution can’t be witnessed without effort and dedication. In such circumstances, doesn’t India want a revolution in public transport?

By:- B&E
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