Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Great Indian Highway Project - stalled

I was reading an article about the progress of the various highways projects. These projects are of vital importance to the nation. They will serve to connect the country together, allow various Tier 2 cities and rural areas to get more connected and hence benefit economically, and save a tremendous amount of actual money due to lower fuel consumption, lesser wear and tear and great saving of time. If there was one thing that any Government should be concentrating on at a very high degree, this is one of them. The multiplier effort to the national economy and especially to the non-urban areas will be incredible. On a personal level, how many of us who have travelled on older highways vs. the newer highways would not have noticed the difference?

Instead what does one find ? The Govt is slacking off on this area, not focusing attention on resolving the issues that are bound to creep up. Ever since the Govt has come to power, these projects are not getting the required attention. Stories like these keep on occurring at frequent intervals, and cause frustation. It is patently obvious that this needs dedicated attention and is of a high level of importance that a dedicated team be allotted to this.

It is all the more frustating as one recalls what happened during the NDA regime. When such projects were announced, there was a lot of cynicism at the scope of such projects, but the projects proceeded at a fast enough pace. The best thing happened to this project, it got very high level attention and had an ex-army major monitoring this project (being the minister for roads). By the time that the NDA Govt demitted office, the effects of these projects had already started emerging. There were write-ups in the media about how rural areas got more connected and got greater scope to increase their economic activities. In fact, I recall reading a study that estimated that fuel consumption had not increased at the same pace as the economy, and credited this to more efficient fuel usage in the transport sector, part of it due to better roads.

I hope that the PM will be sufficiently concerned about such an important project and will strive to give it the level of monitoring that it deserves.

If you like these writings, you can subscribe to this feed to get new postsSite Feed Site Feed

posted by Ashish Agarwal @ 12:23 PM