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Sunday, April 14, 2024

How infrastructure has improved in Bharat under PM Modi

We saw how Prime Minister Narendra Modi has ushered in laws and internal security changes. We also see the changes that have been brought in with respect to the temple corridors, laws for persecuted Hindus in neighbouring countries, anti-conversion laws, etc. It is there for us to see how much effort has been put into improving the country as a whole. 

The past decade has seen Bharat undergo a massive transformation in its urban infrastructure. The government has focused heavily on modernising the country’s railways, highways, waterways, and aviation sectors. This commitment to infrastructure development has fuelled unprecedented growth and improved connectivity across the country.

Rail network

Bharat’s railway system has undergone a monumental transformation, shedding its former burdens of inadequate infrastructure and inefficiencies. As of February 2024, the addition of over 25,000 kilometres of new railway tracks now surpasses the total length found in many developed nations. Moreover, railway electrification has soared to 94%, unmanned rail crossings have been eradicated, and safety measures have been bolstered. Introducing bio-toilets, GPS-based tracking systems, and online reservation platforms has revolutionised the passenger experience, fostering safer, cleaner, and more efficient train travel. Key initiatives such as the Dedicated Freight Corridor and the advent of indigenous semi-high-speed trains like the Vande Bharat Express and Namo Bharat signify a new era marked by speed, innovation, and excellence in railway transportation.

  • Vande Bharat and Amrit Bharat trains signify the modernisation of the railways, transitioning from slow, unclean trains to high-speed, modern ones.
  • Railway infrastructure investment has grown consistently, reaching Rs 2.4 lakh crore in the current fiscal year.
  • The electrification of railway tracks, covering 37,011 route kilometres in nine years, will soon result in a fully electrified rail network.
  • KAVACH automatic train collision avoidance system deployment will increase to 5,000 kilometres per year by 2025-26, enhancing safety.
  • A mega expansion plan aims to eliminate waitlists by rolling out 3,000 more trains in 3-4 years and increasing daily train runs to 13,000, with 4,000-5,000 km of track laid annually.
  • Railway track laying increased to 25,871 km with the introduction of 23 high-speed Vande Bharat trains.

Roads, highways, ports

Bharat’s road and highway sector has experienced remarkable growth and progress in recent years. Under the Modi government’s leadership, the construction of over 55,000 kilometres of highways in the past decade highlights a steadfast commitment to infrastructure expansion. Initiatives such as the Bharatmala Pariyojana are enhancing connectivity and catering to the needs of underserved regions, economic centres, and tourist destinations. Through endeavours like the PM Gati Shakti Yojana and the National Infrastructure Pipeline, the government prioritises multi-modal connectivity, facilitates integrated planning, and ensures the timely execution of infrastructure projects. 

Initiatives like Sagarmala are harnessing Bharat’s expansive coastline to enhance trade and transportation, lowering costs and fostering sustainable development. Previously overlooked, inland waterways are now undergoing revitalisation to maximise their economic benefits. 

  • Today, Bharat boasts the world’s second-largest road network, surpassing China, with a total length of about 63.31 lakh km. 
  • The length of National Highways has increased remarkably from 91,287 km in 2014 to 1,45,240 km in 2022-23, marking a 59% rise in nine years.
  • The construction pace of national highways has increased six-fold since 2010, with the length of four-lane National Highways doubling from 18,371 km in 2014 to 44,654 km presently.
  • The rate of road construction has significantly escalated, from 12 km per day in 2014-15 to 29 km per day in 2021-22.
  • Under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, more than 350,000 km of rural roads have been constructed since 2014, facilitating year-round accessibility and positively impacting our rural economy.

The Ministry of Road Transport & Highways is developing 27 Greenfield corridors, including five expressways spanning 9,860 km, with a total investment of Rs 4.08 lakh crore. Infrastructure development along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) has intensified, with 205 projects completed in the past two years. The Border Roads Organisation’s budget has doubled, focusing on projects worth Rs 16,000 crore, including roads, bridges, tunnels, and airfields, bolstering strategic infrastructure in border areas. Special focus on Jammu and Kashmir and northeastern states for road and railway development.

Through investments in water transport infrastructure, the government is not only generating employment opportunities but also alleviating pressure on road and rail networks, mitigating congestion, and advocating for environmental preservation.

The Sagarmala Programme, launched in 2015, aims to modernise the country’s ports, enhance connectivity, and promote coastal development. With over 800 projects valued at Rs. 5.8 lakh crore, it seeks to boost economic growth, create jobs, and strengthen maritime infrastructure. Key achievements include doubling cargo handling capacity, improving port efficiency, and elevating India’s international ranking in shipping. By leveraging its coastal resources effectively, Sagarmala is poised to propel India towards becoming a global maritime leader, aligning with its rich maritime heritage and fostering economic prosperity. In 2024, PM Modi announced that the ports in the country achieved double-digit annual growth in the last decade, and this was better than most developed nations in terms of ship turnaround time.

Civil aviation sector

The civil aviation sector has witnessed a significant transformation, marked by the expansion of airports and flight routes, bolstering economic growth and accessibility. Over the past decade, the number of operational airports has more than doubled. Initiatives like UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik) have played a crucial role in enhancing regional connectivity, ensuring that even remote and underserved areas are seamlessly integrated into the national aviation network. Additionally, the National Monetization Pipeline is playing a pivotal role in advancing infrastructure development and management. By unlocking the value of existing assets and attracting private investments, it is driving growth and fostering innovation within the sector.

Under the Modi government’s leadership, air travel in the country has become more accessible. New airports are being opened regularly, bringing the total to 150 operational airports. Bharat, the world’s fastest-growing aviation market, has seen significant aircraft orders from carriers like Air India, IndiGo, and Akasa Air, totalling 1,120 planes. As of December 2023, the country has added 75 airports and helipads in the past decade. 

Urban infrastructure – Smart cities

Under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi, the government has actively addressed the challenges of urban infrastructure in our cities. Through initiatives like the Smart Cities Mission, technology, data, and citizen engagement are leveraged to develop 100 smart cities nationwide. These cities focus on upgrading infrastructure, transportation, waste management, and overall quality of life. Additionally, the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan has made significant strides in urban infrastructure by prioritising sanitation, waste management, and cleanliness. Millions of household and community toilets have been built, leading to the elimination of open defecation in numerous cities. Efforts to enhance waste collection, segregation, and disposal have further improved urban cleanliness.

Several mega infrastructure projects have been inaugurated this year; some are slated for inauguration soon. These include the Chenab Bridge, Mumbai Trans Harbour Link, Delhi-Mumbai expressway section in Gujarat, Dwarka Expressway, and Agra Metro. Additionally, projects like Navi Mumbai International Airport, Noida Airport, Aqua Line 3 of Mumbai metro, Mumbai coastal road, Trans-Arunachal Highway, Sela Tunnel, and Ahmedabad-Dholera Expressway reflect the government’s commitment to robust infrastructure development nationwide.

Metro rail network

The expansion of metro networks has significantly transformed urban transportation in the country. With Prime Minister Modi’s leadership, the number of cities equipped with metro rail systems has surged from five in 2014 to twenty in 2024. Bharat’s metro network has grown, with the total metro length increasing from 248 km in 2014 to 870 km in nine years, averaging 5.6 km per month since 2014. 

This rapid expansion has not only alleviated traffic congestion in major urban centres but has also offered residents a quicker and more dependable mode of transportation, thereby improving overall mobility and accessibility.

Electrification

When PM Modi came to power in 2014, Bharat had over 18000 villages that still needed electrification. Setting off on this massive project, Bharat achieved 100% electrification in 2018. The Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana aimed to provide last-mile connectivity and electricity access to all households in rural and urban areas, ensuring universal electrification. With an outlay of Rs. 16,320 crore, it targets subsidy provisions for essential equipment and utilises modern technology for efficient implementation. Under the Surya Ghar Yojana, which promotes the use of solar energy, the country is looking to bring down electricity bills to a large extent. 

Bharat has undergone a remarkable transformation over the past decade, propelled by a steadfast commitment to modernisation and development. From the revitalisation of the railway network to the expansion of highways and the transformation of civil aviation, the country has witnessed unprecedented growth and connectivity across various sectors.

With innovative solutions, strategic planning, and concerted efforts under Prime Minister Modi’s leadership, Bharat is poised to emerge as a global leader in infrastructure and sustainable development, ushering in a new era of prosperity and opportunity for all its citizens.

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