Towards an efficient transport
infrastructure (Live Mint)
Mains Paper 3: Economy
Prelims level: Bharatmala
Mains level: Infrastructure, roads, port, railways
- Transport infrastructure in India has grown at an unprecedented
rate during nearly the last five years.
- At the highest ever pace of construction, we have built more than
35,000 km of national highways in four and a half years.
- The country had never before seen 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
- 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
- The development of 111 waterways for transport, with multinational
companies already carrying their cargo over the Ganga, is also a first ever,
as are 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.
Need of an efficient infrastructure
- An efficient transport infrastructure is the biggest enabler for
- It has been one of the foremost priorities of our government to
build a transport infrastructure that is indigenous and cost-effective,
links the remotest corners of the country, is optimally integrated across
various modes and is safe and environment friendly.
- A lack of good transport infrastructure has been a major hindrance
for growth in the country in the past and our focus has been on rectifying
this. Bharatmala and Sagarmala programmes are going to be game changers in
- They will improve both penetration and efficiency of transport
movement on land and water, respectively.
- In the process, they will help connect places of production with
markets more efficiently, help reduce logistics costs, create jobs and
promote regionally balanced socioeconomic growth in the country.
- It 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.
Improving safety measures
- To prevent the colossal loss of lives in road accidents, we are
giving 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.
- The high rate of accidents continues to be a matter of grave
concern for us and we are continuously making efforts in this direction.
- Ring roads, expressways and bypasses are being constructed around
many big and small cities and towns to beat traffic congestion and reduce
- 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, and another MoU has been signed with Transport for London
to help us overhaul our urban transport.
- The concept of ‘waste to wealth’ is being employed for generating
alternative fuels. Ministries concerned are working to promote generation of
alternative fuels from agricultural and other waste, and also on a road map
for the development of electric vehicles.
- Apart from the above, we are also giving priority to the greening
of roads and FASTag-based electronic toll collection, which will prevent
congestion at toll plazas and bring down pollution.
- The development of transport infrastructure will also create huge
employment opportunities in the country, improving the socioeconomic
condition of people.
- The youth are being trained to take advantage of the emerging job
- 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.
- Already, the total number of seafarers employed in Indian and
foreign ships has grown by 35% this year.
- Our government is determined that 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
- Our success so far and our continuing efforts will be the prime
enablers for realizing this objective.
Q.1) Consider the following statements about Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya
1. The Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) will be unveiled on
2. It will provide a cover of Rs 2 lakh per family per year for inpatient care
to 10.74 crore families at the bottom of the pyramid.
3. This translates into more than 50 crore people, around 40 per cent of India’s
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 1 and 3 only
(c) 1, 2 and 3
(d) 2 and 3 only
Q.1) What do you mean by an efficient infrastructure? What are its key