Infrastructure can be a set of assets linked with the society and its economic activities. It includes railways, roads & bridges, ports, educational institutions, housing and other such facilities.
A country’s infrastructure development plays a significant role in its economic growth. A fast growing economy necessitates an even faster development of infrastructure.
The construction industry has the strongest economic linkages with other sectors of the economy and has a very strong multiplier effect. The contribution of the sector is estimated at around 6-7% of India’s GDP. But, if its multiplier effect is taken into account on the critical sectors like steel and cement, the share in GDP would be much higher. There is a need for a focused and sustained attention towards this sector. It could be the main lever to unleash India’s economic growth potential.
Growth of infrastructure is proportional to the growth of the economy of a country. And construction creates the basic framework of the economy on which infrastructure development takes place. Various factors underline the fact that steel demand is strongly linked with infrastructure growth.
1. Metro Rail
The Union urban development ministry has decided to consider the proposal for Metro in Tier II cities like Lucknow, Kanpur, Patna, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Pune, Surat, Indore, Nagpur, Kochi, Coimbatore, Kozhikode.
2. Airport project
a) Pakyong Airport is an airport under construction near Gangtok. It is spread over 400 hectares and expected to be completed by Dec 2014.
b) Multi-modal International Cargo Hub and Airport at Nagpur (MIHAN) is an airport project for Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar International Airport, Nagpur. It is the biggest economical development project currently underway in India in terms of investments.
c) A brand new Pune International Airport-The area under consideration is between Chakan and Rajgurunagar, namely around the villages of Chandus and Shiroli at a distance of 40 km from Pune along the Pune-Nashik National highway (NH-50).
d) The Dholera International Airport is a proposed international airport near Navagam in Gujarat. This airport will be the largest cargo airport in Asia with a total area of 7,500 hectares by the Gujarat state government
e) Kannur International Airport is an upcoming international airport located at Mattanur in Kannur District, Kerala, India. The airport is the fourth international airport in Kerala. It is expected to be operational by 2015.
f) Navi Mumbai International Airport The airport is being built through public-private partnership (PPP). Private sector partner will hold 74% equity while the Airports Authority of India (AAI) and the Government of Maharashtra (through CIDCO) each holding 13%. The airport will have a total area of 1160 hectares. The new airport will have a 10-lane approach road to its terminal building flanked by its two runways.
3. Chenab bridge
The Chenab Bridge is an arch bridge under construction in India. It spans the Chenab River between Bakkal and Kauri, in Reasi district of Jammu and Kashmir. When completed, the bridge will be 1,263 m (4,144 ft) long, with a 480 m (1,570 ft) trussed arch span 359 m (1,178 ft) above the river Chenab and a 650 m (2,130 ft) long viaduct on the Kauri side. Work on the bridge restarted in 2010 and once construction is completed in 2015 the Chenab Bridge is expected to be the world’s highest rail bridge.
4. Gujarat International Finance Tech-City or GIFT
Gujarat International Finance Tec-City or GIFT is an under-construction central business district in Gujarat. It will be built on 986 acres of land. Its main purpose is to provide high quality physical infrastructure (electricity, water, gas, district cooling, roads, telecoms and broadband), so that finance and tech firms can relocate their operations there from the cities, where infrastructure is either inadequate or very expensive.
The country’s economy is trying to spread its wings. However, for it to truly fly high, Infrastructure development urges a need of appropriate planning with close monitoring of the progress of the projects, and adoption of suitable policies to remove the constraints which obstruct the project completion. There is a need to resolve many of the legal, procedural and financial issues to evolve a public private partnership (PPP) model, which can result in the desired development of the sector. The model can be designed to promote fairness, transparency and fair pricing of materials. It needs to understand that reforms are the pre-requisite for growth and reforming infrastructure sustains growth. After all, who does not want to see a double-digit growth rate of the GDP in the near future?