As India continues its long and winding journey towards achieving superpower status, the infrastructure sector is playing an increasingly prominent role in its progress. Earlier this year, Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman stated that export competitiveness cannot be determined by currency alone, and would greatly benefit from improved infrastructure and logistics. The government has initiated a number of ambitious projects and programmes in this regard.
This has opened up several opportunities for investment. According to SK Sayal, MD and CEO of Bharti Realty, a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model could be an ideal driver of infrastructural development in the country. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has pegged India’s unmet need for infrastructural investment at about US$ 646 billion for the next 5 years. Additionally, Nimesh Shah, MD and CEO of ICICI Prudential Asset Management Co. Ltd., estimates that US$ 1.5 trillion is required for the creation, overhaul and refurbishment of infrastructure in the country.
Notable Infrastructure Projects
The Sagarmala Project aims to build a series of mega ports to promote port development, connectivity enhancement, port-linked industrialisation and coastal community development. It includes 415 projects, at an estimated investment of approximately Rs. 8 lac crore, from 2015 to 2035.
The Rs-14,000-crore, 25,000-km Bharatmala Project will connect India’s west-to-east land border from Gujarat to Mizoram. It will also link a road network in coastal states from Maharashtra to West Bengal. It is estimated to be completed by 2022.
Spanning 22.5 km, the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link will be India’s longest sea bridge, linking Mumbai with its satellite city, Navi Mumbai. The project will cost around Rs. 18,000 crore and will be completed by 2019.
The government has begun the construction of the Chenab Bridge, which will be the highest bridge in the world (359 meters above the river Chenab), at Doda, Jammu and Kashmir. The bridge will be built at a cost of Rs. 1,198 crore.
The Rs.-50,800-crore Setu Bharatam project aims to ensure all national highways will be free of railway level crossings by 2019, and will overhaul 1,500 British-era bridges.
The Rashtriya Rajmarg Zila Sanjoyokta Pariyojna project will connect 100 of the 676 district headquarters in the country through highways. The project entails the development of 6,600 km of highways at an estimated cost of Rs. 60,000 crore.
Other infrastructure projects in the pipeline include an inland waterways project, the Gujarat-Gorakhpur gas pipeline, the Chardham Highway Project, ring roads around Jammu and Kashmir and the 4.94-km-long Bogibeel Bridge over the Brahmaputra.
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Sources: Financial Express; Live Mint; Times of India; Press Information Bureau: Government of India, Ministry of Shipping; Syskool; Press Information Bureau: Government of India, Ministry of Road Transport & Highways; Hindustan Times; Wikipedia; railway-technology.com; IAS Abhiyan; Indian Express