Some of the projects and developments on the infrastructure front reported over the past few days effectively narrate the speed and scale of India’s infrastructure building. Before touching upon the details, these unique points perhaps sum up the growth story that India is scripting.
- While kickstarting phase 2 of Surat metro rail project PM Modi cited a figure. Before 2014, only 225 kms of metro line became operational in 10-12 yrs. In last 6 years, over 450 kms of metro network became operational.
- In another development, the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways (MoRTH) has created a record by constructing 534 km of National Highways in the last week commencing 8 January.
- Recently, eight trains were flagged off to connect Statue of Unity at Kevadia. It is not just about connectivity. In a sign that the development is aligned with modern needs and aspirations, Ahmedabad-Kevadiya Jan Shatabdi Special Express comprises of Vistadome which provides a unique experience of relishing the nature and surroundings during the journey.
Integrated Approach in Metro Network
While speaking about the Metro projects, PM Modi underlined that the government is working on 1,000-kilometers of new lines in 27 cities.
Besides the speed in the projects, what has changed under the Modi government?
As PM Modi himself explained, there was a lack of integrated modern thinking earlier. As a result, there was no uniformity in technique and systems of Metro in different cities. Another lacuna was the absence of linkage with the rest of the transport system of the city. Today transportation is being developed in an integrated manner in these cities, whereby the Metro will not function in isolation but will work as a collective system. This integration will be taken further by the recently launched National Common Mobility card.
Pandemic Has Not Hindered Highways Construction
Though the first two months of the current fiscal were lost due to nationwide lockdown in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic, MoRTH has ensured that the construction of National highways exceeds expectation.
The Ministry has constructed 8,169 km of National Highways from April 2020 to January 15, 2021 in the current financial year 2020-21. This is at the speed of about 28.16 km per day. During the same period in the last fiscal, 7,573 km roads were constructed, with a speed of 26.11 km per day.
NH projects of 7,597 km were awarded during this period (April 2020 to 15 January 2021). In 2019-20, projects of 3,474 km were awarded during the same period. Thus, the pace of award has also more than doubled this fiscal.
With this speed the construction target of 11,000 km for this fiscal year is likely to be met by March 31st.