Sunday, April 15, 2012


Infrastructure development without doubt is the next gen growth engine of Indian economy and the thrust being provided by Indian planners to this sector is understandable. A lot of advantages that accrue as a result of this thrust lose their sheen because of the rampant corruption during development and maintenance. Worst still are the effects of Indian malaise of not bothering about the state of assets once created and the apathy of the polity, executive and every one towards this all important aspect of nation building.
Per capita availability of vehicles is one of the many indexes of prosperity of any nation. It is really nice to learn that India is currently producing 2 million plus of motor cars and something like 5 million 2 wheelers annually. But at the same time one shudders to think about the scene on the Indian roads in 2020 and beyond particularly in the light of lack of planning concerns on the part of rulers of the country. Apart from traffic jams and inconvenience to the road users which many a times is talked about in the country, the most crucial thing, that is,
  • the loss to national exchequer in terms of additional heavy expenditure on oil imports and 
  • the national loss in terms of break down, wear and tear and maintenance of individual vehicles ( private or state owned ) seems to be nobody's concern, not even of our so called nationalistic polity.
It is a widely accepted fact that prosperity will come as a result of and will result in 50% of the population in urban conglomerates. At present more than 80% of the vehicles are are plying on the roads of top 30 big cities of the country wherein travelling 1 Km can take even more than five minutes because of congestion and chaos coupled with terrible state of roads. Most of the highways are also in bad shape for more than four months of the year.
Clearly India is wasting about 50% of its fuel because of lack of proper infrastructure and the maintenance level of whatever it has. The fuel import bill of Rs 4.00 lakh crores which is likely to escalate to more than Rs20 lakh crores by 2020 by most conservative estimates as a result of exploding demands of personal vehicles, public transport and logistics requirements of a growing economy of 1 billion Plus people.
If only we have a set of people at the top who think in terms of country and what is best for the country rather than showing insensitivity to all that is good for the country and its assets whether with the government or with individual citizens, a lot can be achieved for catapulting the growth, mitigation of poverty, social and socio-economic empowerment etc. etc. through massive savings in oil imports and accompanying subsidies.