[op-ed snap]Towards an efficient transport infrastructure

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Mains Paper 3: Economy | Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.

From the UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Various Infrastructure related schemes

Mains level: This newscard analyses initiative taken in improving Transport Infrastructure and overall impact of such initiative on growth.


NEWS

CONTEXT

The recent headway made in developing transport infrastructure will prove to be the biggest enabler for growth.

Growth in transport Infrastructure

  • At the highest ever pace of construction,  more than 35,000 km of national highways have been built in four and a half years.
  • World-class expressways such as the Eastern Peripheral Expressway and Western Peripheral Expressway or engineering marvels such as the Dhola Sadiya Bridge and Chenani Nashri Tunnel.
  • The Bharatmala Pariyojana is unique and unprecedented in terms of its size and design, as is the idea of developing ports as engines of growth under Sagarmala.
  • The development of 111 waterways for transport, FASTags, the promotion of alternative fuels such as ethanol, methanol, biofuels, and electricity, as well as innovative modes of travel such as seaplanes and aeroboats.

Implications of Transport Infrastructure Growth

  • An efficient transport infrastructure is the biggest enabler for growth.
  • Bharatmala and Sagarmala programmes y will improve both penetration and efficiency of transport movement on land and water, respectively.
  • They will help connect places of production with markets more efficiently, help reduce logistics costs, create jobs and promote regionally balanced socio-economic growth in the country.

Connectivity with the neighboring countries

  • Our road and sea transport networks are being developed for providing better, seamless and more efficient access not just within the country, but also to our neighbouring countries using an optimal mix of roads and waterways.
  • Afghanistan and beyond through Chabahar, or Bangladesh, Myanmar and Thailand through upcoming highways and waterways.

Priority areas in the development of transport infrastructure

  • Priority is also on improving the overall convenience and on-road experience of the road users.
  • This involves ensuring their safety, reducing congestion and pollution levels and providing roadside amenities.

Ensuring safety on road

  • Priority to rectifying accident black spots through engineering means,
  • Employing road safety features at the design stage for highways,
  • Conducting road safety audits, setting up driver training and post-trauma care centres as well as generating awareness.

 Addressing other concerns Such as Pollution and Traffic congestion accessibility to difficult areas

  • Ring roads, expressways and bypasses are being constructed around many big and small cities and towns to beat traffic congestion and reduce pollution.
  • Innovative solutions like seaplanes, ropeways, aeroboats and double-decker buses are being actively explored for adoption. These will bring down the traffic pressure and congestion on roads.
  • Seaplanes have already been tested, and trials are soon to be conducted on aeroboats.
  • A memorandum of understanding (MoU) has been signed with Austrian ropeway company Doppelmayr for building ropeways through congested cities and hilly areas.
  • Promoting alternative fuels like ethanol, methanol, biofuels and electricity.
  • The concept of ‘waste to wealth’ is being employed for generating alternative fuels.
  • Giving priority to the greening of roads and FASTag-based electronic toll collection, which will prevent congestion at toll plazas and bring down pollution.

Creating Employment Opportunities

  • Development of transport infrastructure will also create huge employment opportunities in the country, improving the socioeconomic condition of people.
  • In the roads sector, training is being given in construction-related trades,
  • While under Sagarmala, training is being provided in job opportunities that can come up in the maritime sector, in the factories that are slated to be built in port areas, the service industry, fisheries, tourism and many more.
  • the total number of seafarers employed in Indian and foreign ships has grown by 35% this year.

Managing water resources and clean rivers

  • Implementation of  over 260 projects in the area of sewerage infrastructure, industrial pollution control, solid waste management and riverfront management.
  • what we need is to manage our water resources well using innovative ideas.

Conclusion

  • India’s growth story should no longer be impeded by a lack of efficient transport infrastructure, and the fruits of this growth should reach everyone in the remotest part of the country.

 

By Er S

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